Fifteen leaders of environmental and health groups signed off on a letter sent to environmental regulators Dec. 18 asking officials to fully punish Volkswagen in response to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others asking authorities to push for electric vehicles instead.
The letter, which was signed by the policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air and the director of the Sierra Club California, among others, calls for “vigorous enforcement of both criminal and civil laws” to deter actions like Volkswagen’s cheating of diesel emissions tests.
The California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed in September that Volkswagen admitted to fitting nearly 500,000 cars in the U.S. with an illegal “defeat device” designed to cheat emissions tests. In November, the agencies said an additional 85,000 cars with 3-liter diesel engines were cheating too.
The letter calls on environmental officials to force Volkswagen to offset its emissions in heavily polluted areas through “verified, enforceable contemporaneous pollution reductions.”
The letter from the health and environmental groups said the letter by Musk and other business leaders fails to address the health impact of Volkswagen’s cheating scandal, nor does the proposal offer any compensation to the “clean” diesel buyers tricked into buying those cars.
The letter by environmental groups to CARB said it supports more EVs, but said “VW’s punishment for knowingly violating California’s air pollution regulations should fit the crime.”
Source: Green Car Reports