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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 21, 2017 12:48 PM
From: Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
To: All House members
Subject: Clean Transportation Initiative
I intend to introduce legislation which will shape Pennsylvania’s energy portfolio and provide for cleaner air in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

As many of you will recall, in 2015, the German automaker, Volkswagen, was found to have installed software on its diesel-powered vehicles that provided false emissions data, data that was far lower than the emissions their vehicles were actually producing. Since getting caught, Volkswagen has agreed to pay fines of $16 billion to settle claims for cheating. These fines will be paid to the US Government in an Environmental Mitigation Trust and allocated to the various states pursuant to a settlement agreement.

Pennsylvania is set to get $110 million from this agreement. The funds must be used to promote reductions of NOx emissions in the medium and heavy-duty vehicle sectors to mitigate the air quality damage caused by Volkswagen’s non-compliant light-duty diesel vehicles. This is an opportunity for us to use this mistake to shape our energy future and provide for cleaner burning vehicles across Pennsylvania.

My legislation is simple. It is designed to ensure the equitable distribution of these funds. It will ensure that the plan developed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the use of these funds is centered around the principle of achieving the greatest environmental benefits for each dollar expended. It will do so by requiring that:
  1. The majority of funds be used to deploy vehicles that are certified to one of California Air Resources Board’s optional low-NOx standards;
  2. Any vehicle grant funding for a non-government fleet vehicle shall provide for 25% of the total vehicle cost, up to $50,000 per vehicle;
  3. No more than 10% of the funds may be dedicated to government fleets;
  4. To the extent funds are made available to government fleets, mass transit, para transit, and waste disposal fleets will be considered priority use; and
  5. The funding must be prioritized in a manner which leverages private matching funds or investment.
In the months ahead, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be working toward finalizing a draft plan for the deployment of these funds. I hope you will be joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation to ensure Pennsylvania is deploying the funds in a manner which provides the greatest environmental benefit to our citizens.

Introduced as HB1661