On November 2, the Joint Energy Committee held a hearing on the Volkswagen Settlement, and how the funds should be used in Vermont. VPIRG’s Clean Energy Advocate, Sarah Wolfe, testified in support of using the funds for replacing diesel school buses with electric school buses, along with supporting charging stations across the state.
Of the nearly $19 million that Vermont is likely to get out of the settlement, approximately $3 million can be used for electric car charging stations. That would support individual investments in electric vehicles to help more Vermonters make the choice to drive cleaner, but it’s only a small part of this opportunity.
The remainder of the funds can be used for replacing or repowering heavy-duty diesel vehicles. Unfortunately, there’s a real chance that most of this money will go to simply buying newer diesel trucks and buses – investing in more fossil fuel infrastructure when what we need desperately is less.
Prioritizing electric school buses with those funds helps clean the air for our children, fund projects that couldn’t be done otherwise, and speed the transformation of our transportation market. And transit buses in our larger metropolitan areas could allow these funds to benefit a number of people all at once and help more Vermonters transition off of fossil fuels in their own lives.
Learn more and submit a comment to the Agency of Natural Resources: www.vpirg.org/VWfunds