PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon environmental regulators have issued a $2.7 million fine to an electric charging company over accusations it sold fraudulent credits through the agency’s clean fuels program.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said Friday it discovered Thompson Technical Services, or TTS Charging, sold over $2 million in fraudulent credits, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
The program, implemented in 2016, is designed to help the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 37% by 2035. It provides credits as incentives to companies that produce transportation fuels like electricity or biofuels. Those companies can then sell credits to other companies in order for them to comply with state emissions rules.
According to DEQ, TTS Charging falsely claimed more than 16,000 in credits in June, alleging it dispensed nearly 15 million kilowatt hours of electricity from three vehicle charging stations.
“They hadn’t dispensed any electricity, they hadn’t even set up the charging stations,” said Harry Esteve, a spokesperson for the agency.
The company then sold the credits for nearly $1.8 million to oil and natural gas transportation company, Elbow River Marketing, based in Canada.
The state agency has revoked TTS Charging’s account with the clean fuels program. The agency has ordered the company to purchase legitimate credits to replace the ones it falsely claimed and sold, and pay the civil penalty of $2.7 million.
Since its inception, the clean fuels program has reduced 7.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the agency said.
TTS Charging did not immediately respond to a request for comment.