Even Rigged Volkswagens Are Cleaner than Ethanol

Two weeks ago, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen for violating the Clean Air Act by outfitting more than half a million cars with the software. In the U.S. alone, VW could face fines of as much as $90 billion.

The vehicles in question produced 10 to 40 times more nitrogen oxides than the law allowed. And those increased emissions will cause about 60 premature deaths a year in the U.S., according to a study by researchers at MIT and Harvard University.

Shortly after it was discovered that VW had been cheating, Cynthia Giles, the Environmental Protection Agency‘s assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, denounced the company’s effort to “evade clean air standards” as “illegal and a threat to public health.”

But corn ethanol is an even bigger threat, as the EPA’s own research shows.

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