CEI Comments on Proposed Volkswagen Settlement with DOJ Under the Clean Air Act

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As part of the proposed partial consent decree, Volkswagen (VW) agrees to invest $1.2 billion over ten years “to support increased use of zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technology.” The court should not approve the national ZEV investment component of the proposed partial consent decree for four reasons:

  1. The ZEV plan is unreasonable because it does not share a relationship, or “nexus,” with the underlying Clean Air Act violations;
  2. As injunctive relief, the retrospective purpose of the ZEV plan conflicts with limits on the court’s equitable jurisdiction established by the Clean Air Act;
  3. Because the Obama administration repeatedly tried and failed to pass a virtually identical policy through Congress, the court could not approve the settlement without impermissibly interfering in the separation of powers; and
  4. The Obama administration’s attempt to enact industrial policy—i.e., the ZEV plan—through a negotiated settlement is inefficient, encourages crony capitalism, and works against the public interest

Read the full comments here