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Volkswagen emissions scandal proves it’s a far greater sin in America to kill the air than to kill people

The Volkswagen scandal, in which the admission that 11 million Volkswagen-made cars used software that tricked official emissions tests, has shocked the world. Everyone from Volkswagen employees and owners of the cars to financial analysts and environmentalists are in a state of flux over this mind-boggling news.

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” says the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cynthia Giles. It has been noted that in some instances, when the company’s diesel cars were able to detect they weren’t hooked up to emissions testing equipment, that upwards of 40 times the allowable U.S. standards for pollution were emitted, raising serious air quality concerns.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that just a day after the finding was announced, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned. It’s also no surprise that Volkswagen is facing stock woes and upcoming class-action lawsuits from its customers. It’s also expected that the company — which has provided rather modest election-time contributions throughout the years — will face billions of dollars in fines.

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