Volkswagen pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to criminal felony charges over the diesel emissions scandal that has roiled the German automaker for more than a year and cost it tens of billions of dollars in settlements and penalties.
Thursday’s guilty plea was part of a criminal settlement worked out with the Department of Justice that calls on Volkswagen to pay $4.3 billion in fines and penalties. In a separate civil settlement, the company has already agreed to spend $15 billion to compensate its customers in the United States.
A transportation proposal sent to Congress by the Obama administration on Tuesday would remove a prohibition on tolls for existing Interstate highways, clearing the way for states to raise revenue on roads that drivers currently use at no cost.
Some Northeastern states, like Delaware and New Jersey, were allowed to keep tolls on existing highways that became a part of the national system. Other states were allowed to charge tolls on highways that were added to existing Interstates, but that revenue can be used only for repair and maintenance of those roads.
The proposal comes as Congress prepares to rewrite the existing surface transportation bill. A Congressional Budget Office study found that the Highway Trust Fund, which helps pays for Interstate repairs and is financed by a gasoline tax, will run out of money in August.
My questions is why is this Highway Trust Fund running out of money. Is spending ever addressed with these people (except when using it as leverage against political opponents)?
The government wants us to drive less and use less fuel, right? Now the fund that comes from gas taxes is running out of money. People who bought electric cars to save gas money may have to pay for it with tolls. And then, there’s are possible privacy issue with tracking drivers.
The British study, which is the first analysis of the full lifetime emissions of electric cars covering manufacturing, driving and disposal, undermines the case for tackling climate change by the rapid introduction of electric cars.
It found that a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tonnes for a similar petrol car. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed.
Many electric cars are expected to need a replacement battery after a few years. Once the emissions from producing the second battery are added in, the total CO2 from producing an electric car rises to 12.6 tonnes, compared with 5.6 tonnes for a petrol car. Disposal also produces double the emissions because of the energy consumed in recovering and recycling metals in the battery. The study also took into account carbon emitted to generate the grid electricity consumed.
So our government is involved in more phony green schemes that makes things worse over the long run. What a complete and utter joke – except our tax money is funding this worthless project.
Gas cars are better on the environment.
In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car maker said it traced the problem with that particular car to a case in which the wrong wheel was put in a car and replaced later in the assembly process with the correct one. But the new wheel wasn’t attached properly, the car maker says.
When the wheel separated from the steering column, the driver was able to get the car to the side of the road safely, and the company says it has tested other cars from the production run and found no similar problems. General Motors says it believes this was an isolated incident.