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Michigan to get "millions" under EPA's settlement with Volkswagen

VW showed off their Gold TDI Clean Diesel at the 2010 Washington Auto Show. The company has since admitted to evading emissions standards for the last seven years.
wikimedia user Mariordo

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says more than 10,000 Volkswagen diesel car owners in Michigan will get payments as part of a settlement with the German company over major emissions violations.

Volkswagen installed software in 500,000 cars sold across the U.S. that concealed the cars' true emissions from regulators.  Those emissions were up to 40 times the allowable standard of nitrogen oxides (NOx),  harmful pollutants linked to asthma and heart attacks.

Schuette says Michigan will also be eligible for up to $60 million to fund projects to mitigate NOx emissions in the state.  Sales of zero emission (fully electric) vehicles in Michigan could also receive a boost from the settlement.

Schuette continues fight against Clean Power Plan

It's worth noting, on the other hand, that Schuette is continuing to pursue a lawsuit challenging the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan.  Schuette sued to halt the plan from going into effect, claiming the federal agency does not have the authority to regulate carbon emissions, and that the plan would cause utility rates to skyrocket.

The Clean Power Plan attempts to regulate global-warming carbon emissions for the first time. It will do that primarily by requiring older coal-burning power plants to shut down. 

But by default, the plan would almost certainly reduce NOx emissions as well, since power plants are responsible for emitting about 20% of the harmful chemicals that get into the air each year.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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