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TexPIRG Statement on TCEQ’s Volkswagen Settlement Spending Plan

For Immediate Release

AUSTIN-- Today, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality released the state’s Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, which will allocate funds to expand clean transportation in the state.  After the public comment period, the TCEQ made several promising changes to their original draft, released earlier this year. In addition to increasing the transparency of the fund distribution process, the final version of the plan increased the percentage of costs covered for government-owned vehicle replacement from 60% to 80%. This increase will make it easier for transit agencies to invest in zero-emission all-electric buses, helping improve public health and air quality. The new plan increased funding to certain cities like Dallas and Austin, while El Paso and San Antonio saw their share of the funding reduced.

 

TexPIRG state director Bay Scoggin released the following statement:

 

“We are happy about the availability of funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the increase in percentage cost covered for government-owned vehicles, which will help transit agencies and school districts transition to zero-emission electric vehicles. We are still worried that TCEQ is evaluating projects based on the cost per ton of emissions reduced. Evaluating the emissions reductions of different fuel types based primarily on sticker price ignores the lifetime savings and air quality benefits that only electric vehicles can offer.”

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