Energy & Environment

House Republicans question VW settlement

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Two Republicans are probing the settlement agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Volkswagen in the wake of the automaker’s emissions scandal. 

In two Tuesday letters to the EPA, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Penn.), the chairman of the committee’s investigative subpanel, requested more information about the $14.7 billion settlement approved by a federal judge last month. 

{mosads}The Republicans said they are concerned about the $2 billion VW is set to invest in zero-emission vehicle technologies. Upton and Murphy worry those investments could give VW a competitive edge in the zero-emission vehicle market. 

“It appears that, just as the company plans to enter the EV market, it will be consenting to a court-required $2 billion investment – potentially into its own infrastructure and to support its own newly entered market,” they wrote. “This is a curious outcome for the settlement of a cheating scandal.”

The members also requested more data from the EPA about the exact amount of emissions Volkswagen released due to improper software on vehicles that allowed excess pollution.  

Regulators have estimated VW vehicles equipped with the software emitted up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide. The company is paying $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation efforts under the settlement, but the congressmen want more information on the real-world impacts of those emissions. 

VW and federal officials agreed this summer to a $14.7 billion settlement following revelations of technology installed on some Volkswagen vehicles that turned off pollution controls. More than $10 billion of that will go toward repairing or replacing 2-liter diesel VW and Audi vehicles equipped with the software.

Tags Environmental Protection Agency Volkswagen VW emission scandal

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