Concerns Remain over Continued Funding of Fossil Fuels
Hartford, CT – Today, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) applauded Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s decision to allocate over $6.2 million in funds from the Volkswagen (VW) legal settlement towards new electric vehicles. This investment will provide Connecticut with twelve electric transit buses across the state and two electric shuttle buses for the University of Connecticut.
“Cars, buses, and other vehicles are responsible for the overwhelming majority of air pollution,” said CTLCV Executive Director Lori Brown. “Replacing dirty diesel buses with clean electric vehicles is key to helping us improve air quality, reduce rising asthma rates, and fight climate change.”
Unfortunately, some of the VW settlement funds also went to new, so-called “clean” diesel vehicles, including diesel school buses in Hartford, Stratford, Middlebury, Southbury, and Ellington.
“There is no such thing as clean diesel. In fact, the myth of this technology is what led to the lawsuit against VW and the award of these funds in the first place,” said Brown. “To invest money meant for clean air projects in diesel vehicles is particularly concerning—especially when it comes to our children’s health. Asthma rates have skyrocketed, and we are only just beginning to see the long-term harm that breathing diesel fumes has caused. We implore Governor-Elect Ned Lamont and the incoming administration to prioritize electric vehicles when it comes to allocating the remaining VW settlement funds.”
In 2015, VW admitted to cheating emissions tests and violating the Clean Air Act. A subsequent lawsuit led to a legal settlement that resulted in Connecticut expecting to receive over $51 million for clean air projects. Malloy announced the first ten of these projects last week.
The CTLCV Education Fund launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign to encourage Connecticut to use the VW settlement to replace dirty diesel school buses with clean electric alternatives.