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Contact: Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Transportation Campaign Director, (617) 747-4314, firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON -- Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) released a draft plan that proposes using the first $23.5 million the state is receiving as part of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal settlement on electric vehicle infrastructure. The plan dedicates $11 million for the purchase of new, all-electric buses, $5 million for the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and reserves the rest to be used on other projects that will help electrify the state’s transportation network.
U.S. PIRG Transportation Campaign Director Matt Casale issued the following statement:
“We commend MassDEP for committing to building a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable transportation network for Massachusetts. Volkswagen cheated its customers and put all of our health at risk by avoiding emissions standards, but the settlement provided states with an opportunity to accelerate the transition to an electric transportation system.
Transportation accounts for 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts, leading to high rates of childhood asthma, causing greater instances of lung and heart disease, and contributing significantly to climate change. We have to take action now to clean up our transportation system and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The $23.5 million spent over the next year will be integral to the transition to an electric transportation system. The new electric buses hitting the road in the Pioneer Valley and on Martha’s Vineyard will make an immediate positive impact in those regions, and the investment in charging infrastructure will help accelerate the market adoption of electric vehicles throughout the state. We hope to see more states follow the lead of Massachusetts.”
U.S. PIRG is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. On the web at www.uspirg.org.
For more on the Volkswagen Settlement, see U.S. PIRG’s report: From Deceit to Transformation: How States Can Leverage Volkswagen Settlement Funds to Accelerate Progress to a Clean Transportation System.
For more on why we need to make the switch to electric buses, see U.S. PIRG’s report: Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Communities and Cleaner Air.
For more on the need to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, see U.S. PIRG’s report: Plugging In: Readying America’s Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles.
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