Emissions Funding In VW Deal Misses Problem, Groups Say

Law 360 reports on CEI's legal challenge to the Volkswagen emissions settlment. 

Think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute and other groups on Friday voiced their opposition to a pollution control program part in the U.S. Department of Justice’s $14.7 billion deal with Volkswagen AG to settle claims over its scheme to skirt emissions testing, saying that part isn’t connected to the underlying violation.

Under the deal announced a month ago by the DOJ and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Volkswagen agreed to invest $1.2 billion over the next 10 years to support the increased use of zero emission vehicle technology. But in comments submitted to the DOJ, the groups said that that element of the deal shouldn’t be approved by the court because it doesn’t share a sufficiently close relationship with the underlying Clean Air Act violations.

But the purpose of the zero emissions investment is supposedly to address the environmental harm from the cars, which were rigged with so-called defeat devices designed to evade government emissions standards.

“Which raises an obvious question: How can the zero emissions vehicle program address ‘adverse environmental impacts’ caused by VW’s violations of the Clean Air Act if a separate component of the agreement ‘is intended to fully mitigate the total’ environmental harm attributable to the vehicles?” the groups said in the comments.

“Instead, the settlement is basically a plan to submit a future plan, which itself is subject to change,” the groups, which include American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works.

Read the full article at Law 360.