Vermont’s Youth Lobby petitioning for electric school buses

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A group of students from Harwood Union High School, and with Youth Lobby want to see Vermont’s yellow school buses go green.

April Tousignant is a student at Harwood Union High School, and a member of the Youth Lobby along with classmates Zoe Buffman, and Olivia White. “Is a group of students who come together and try to make change and increase student voice,” said Tousignant.

Diesel school buses could be a thing of the past in Vermont, allowing for a brand new line of energy efficient buses.

“We are trying to get Vermont to spend, 85% of the Volkswagen settlement fund on electric school buses,” said Zoe Buffman a student at Harwood Union High School.

Vermont was allocated $18.7 million from the larger $225 million settlement from Volkswagen, after the company violated the Clean Air Act.

Students believe this could help the state fight climate change, and help the tax payers in the long run.

“This would help the tax payers because, the schools can put less money into their budget for those school buses. We are using this ‘free’ money to get them, for that pilot program,” said Tousignant. She continues on with “the biggest benefit about them is the zero air pollution and zero carbon emissions.”

With the research they have done, yes these electric buses would be able to withstand the weather of our northern climate.

“Which was a big concern, how would they deal with the winter? But, they are designed to, and those would be up to 12 years” said Tousignant.

The three all explain, this will not be an inexpensive purchase, in fact the new buses would cost upwards of $300,000. But with an expected longer life, and no fuel cost, the students feel that this is something to invest money into. Plus, it’s better for the environment.

The shelf life for the batteries on the bus last for nearly a decade, and cost $300 to replace according to student Olivia White.

Similar projects are being done in California, and Quebec.

The petition so far in it’s first week, has collected 700 signatures. For those looking for more information on this cause, and wanting to sign the petition, click here.

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