Tag Archives: Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust

Midwest Utilities Contemplate a Future Less Reliant on Coal

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The Midwest has long been a wind energy hub. Now, an increasing number of the region’s utilities are turning away from baseload coal and contemplating a future that relies heavily on clean energy. Utilities in states such as Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan have recently announced goals to pivot towards cleaner resources. In Kansas, newly-joined Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy (also known as Kansas City Power & Light) — now collectively known as Evergy — laid out a plan to retire a handful of old coal plants this fall and begin cleanup of the leftover coal ash. An executive of the company, John Bridson, told the area’s NPR affiliate that “it’s time to retire older, less-efficient fossil fuel plants.” Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy


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Billions from VW settlement boost push to clean vehicles: Iowa, other states deciding how to spend their share of funds

 By Martha T. Moore, The Gazette

South Carolina wants to replace aging school buses. Colorado plans to electrify Denver’s bus system. And Washington wants electric ferryboats for Puget Sound . . . States can spend as much as 15 percent of their payout to subsidize construction of public charging stations for electric cars. Most states are likely to spend the full amount, said Nick Nigro of Atlas Public Policy, a transportation electrification consulting firm: 17 states have already said they will do so. (Under a separate part of its court settlement, Volkswagen is spending $2 billion to build electric car charging stations and $10 billion to buy back diesel cars from consumers.) Clean-energy advocates say public transit and school buses are likely targets for state programs for diesel replacement. Parents like the idea of getting rid of diesel fumes at the school bus stop. And the VW funds are arriving at a time when transit systems around the country are increasingly trying out electric and hybrid buses. Click here to read the entire article. 

Photo: Volkswagen cars are loaded in a delivery tower at the plant of German carmaker in Wolfsburg, Germany. Credit: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch