VW Lost Billions In Fines After It Was Caught Cheating Emissions Tests. States Are Blowing All The Money On Green Projects

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

Many states are taking a cut of a $3-billion fine the U.S. laid on Volkswagen for cheating emissions standards, spending the money on green energy projects and zero-emissions transportation infrastructure.

Volkswagen has been embroiled in the “diesel-gate” scandal for about three years after the German automaker admitted to installing emissions test cheating devices on hundreds of thousands of vehicles, Bloomberg reported. The company has lost more than $30 billion in fines, recalls and legal fees across international markets. (RELATED: Another Top Exec Indicted In The Scandal That Has Cost VW More Than $30 Billion)

The U.S. has fined the company around $3 billion for cheating emissions tests and violating the Clean Power Plan. The award money has been divvied up between states based on the amount of illegal VW cars registered in each, according to Bloomberg.

The Sierra Club, an environmental interest group, is tracking the amount of money granted to each state and how each plans to spend it.

California, which received the largest portion of the award money at $422.6 million, is replacing fleets of heavy-duty equipment and public buses with models that do not give off emissions. The state is also building and expanding electric vehicle charging stations. (RELATED: California Will Use Its Winnings From VW Lawsuit To Buy Electric Car Charging Stations)

Colorado will spend its award of $68.7 million to install electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state.

Connecticut is giving $7.5 million worth of its $55.7-million award in grants to government and private projects that reduce emissions.

Illinois is proposing to spend $10.8 million of its $109 million worth of winnings on replacing school buses with a new fleet of electric machines. (RELATED: Report: Costly Electric Vehicles Hardly Do Anything To Help The Environment)

Many states are still in the process of taking input from residents and crafting a plan on how to allot the award money into programs that reduce emissions. Many others have agreed on green investments and are moving forward with plans to replace gas and diesel vehicles or build hundreds of electric car charging stations.

Despite all the planning and fervor for environmental investments, the various state projects might not benefit the environment or cut down emissions as people expect. Although the states are largely taking gas and diesel vehicles off the roads, fuel for electric cars still mostly comes from fossil fuel power plants, according to the Manhattan Institute.

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