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Washington, DC – NGVAmerica President Dan Gage today issued the following statement in response to Governor Jared Polis’s Executive Order requiring all of Colorado’s VW Emissions Settlement funding go towards the purchase of new electric vehicles (EVs) only:

“In one quick stroke of a pen, Governor Polis appears to have chosen to appease EV corporate interests and political partisans at the expense of an entire generation of Colorado children. The governor is directing tens of millions of public dollars dedicated to mitigating the harmful impacts of the VW diesel emissions cheating scandal to purchase expensive, new and unproven EVs powered by a Colorado electric grid that is 54 percent fueled by…. (wait for it) … coal.

“These VW Environmental Mitigation Trust resources are provided so states can address the damaging clean air effects of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal by mitigating the most nitrogen oxide (NOx) as soon as possible. That cannot happen by sequestering all VW funding for new EV purchases, which remains today an ultra-expensive and unproven heavy-duty vehicle technology.

“Sure, electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions, but their impact on the environment must be measured throughout their entire lifecycle and how their power is generated.

“Consider also that heavy-duty trucks and buses are the number one source of urban emissions, and three out of four heavy-duty trucks on our roads today are not certified to EPA’s latest NOx standard. No, real, proven and affordable electric heavy-duty option is available for scale in Colorado. But the cleanest heavy-duty truck engine in the world powered by natural gas is.

“This natural gas engine is 90 percent cleaner than the EPA’s current NOx emissions requirement and 90 percent cleaner than the cleanest diesel alternative. When Renewable Natural Gas captured from agricultural, food, landfill or wastewater waste is used to fuel it, even greater CO2 and greenhouse gas emission reductions are achieved… up to 125 percent lower than the cleanest diesel.

“Compared to expensive electric or fuel cell technologies still in development, investing in natural gas vehicles is the most cost-efficient solution… delivering more new vehicles and far more emission reductions than any other available alternative right here, right now, today.

“Four out of every 10 Americans live in areas with air that is unhealthy to breathe…. 134 million Americans. We’re not going to change that figure anytime soon by waiting for electric technology to become available and affordable, scalable and proven, while withholding investments in other clean air alternatives like natural gas.

“Why wait and let this generation of Colorado children suffer the impact of dirty air with increasing rates of asthma, heart disease and premature death? Reverse this shortsighted decision and allow VW Trust investment to convert Colorado’s fleet of work vans, freight trucks, and buses to affordable, clean, zero emission equivalent natural gas fueled vehicles.”