November 03, 2010


Businesspeople: What Do You Really Think About the Economy!

Not What the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Says You Think...(Or Anyone Else For That Matter)

New Voice of Business Needs Your Opinion

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups publicize what they define as "the" business view on a series of issues, but do they accurately portray business opinion?

The US Chamber recently surveyed its members on the Economy. The Chamber then announced (and spent tens of millions of dollars in this past election to insist) that tax increases on high income earners, government spending, and regulatory action is leading to uncertainty which is hurting the economic turnaround. Is this reflective of your opinion?

New Voice of Business is a different business association that has been focused primarily in California (with a New Mexico chapter), and is now planning to go "national". (Full Disclosure: BWC President Mitch Rofsky is a board member and is managing this survey for New Voice).

New Voice has also prepared a survey on the Economy for business executives. Are you a businessperson? Please Join New Voice and Take its Survey on the Economy. Don't worry, you can join for free, and the survey is designed to take between just 4 and 6 minutes (even less depending on your answers). Membership makes it possible for New Voice to share the results of the survey with you and keep you involved and engaged on issues that you choose.

And there will be new surveys coming up on the Environment, Energy, and other topics so we can determine just how accurate the business viewpoint is being reported. (This survey closes on November 14th.)

Once you've finished the survey, forward this email to a friend. Non-businesspeople can do this, too! Just make sure that you're sending the survey to a friend that can participate. (We know. Last month just Californians, and now only businesspeople. We promise to get everyone more actively involved in the next campaign. Midwestern Lifetime television watchers, we haven't forgotten you.)

Californians Won't Drink the...Well, Whatever Oil Companies Want You To Drink...

CA Greenhouse Gas Regs Survive in Tuesday's Elections!!

Proposition 23, the Initiative that would have overruled California's regulations on greenhouse gas was defeated Tuesday by 61.2 percent to 38.8 percent

Oil executives outside the state put big money into the effort. The initiative was also supported by The Wall Street Journal. While the WSJ editorial looks at environmental efforts as all cost and no benefit, it did raise one issue that environmentalists must recognize: California is imposing costs on itself that few other states (in total, perhaps no other state) have to meet. This is one of the downsides of a Federalist system. As a result, those who are concerned about our dependency on fossil fuel must work so to see that its costs are recognized on a national--and an international--basis.

As you may recall, Better World Club asked its members to get involved (see October 11th issue of Kicking Asphalt: The Oil Companies Strike Back...California's Climate Change Regulation Saga Continues) Our thanks to all Better World Club members who participated in this effort.

Facing Mid-Term Results: Do Liberals Really Want a One-Term Presidency?

As for the Mid-Terms, as you know, we don't do politics here at Better World Club.

However, that doesn't mean none of us has a perspective. BWC President Mitch Rofsky did analyze how the Obama Administration should react to the results on The Huffington Post on Tuesday. You can read it here. (These are Mitch's personal opinions and do not reflect the views of Better World Club--which actually has no views on this subject .)

More "Washington Watch" in Kicking Asphalt

- BWC Joins Reagan Secretary of State George Schultz and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Opposing CA Prop 23


Can the Railroad Come Back?

by Andy Soos, Environmental News Network

At one time riding the rails was a delightful way to travel; quick and easy as well as a reasonable and profitable way to move goods. Something happened over the last 50 years. Some people objected to railroads as unsightly. They also became crowded and in many cases run down. A new report prepared by the Worldwatch Institute and the Apollo Alliance, Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry, draws on lessons from dominant international rail manufacturing countries to conclude that greater investment in the U.S. rail industry could revive America's former leadership in the world rail industry and potentially create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The global market for passenger and freight rail equipment, infrastructure, and related services was $169 billion in 2007 and is projected to grow to $214 billion by 2016.

China invests far and above the most money in its rail network relative to its economy, spending $12.5 dollars for every $1,000 of GDP. In contrast, the United States spends $0.8 dollars per $1,000 of GDP.

By 2015, the number of high-speed train sets in operation worldwide is expected to rise by 70 percent.

Complete Story

Additional Ways to Get Where You're Going:

Plant based plastic bottles: good or bad for the environment? Whatever, we just want to know if they're quieter than those Sun Chips bags.

Get on your bike! That couch could be dangerous.
Would the " ethicurian" food movement by any other name taste so sweet?

If you would like to contribute your opinion to Driving Change's 'Giving Directions' please email it to us at


30 European companies call on EU to cut CO2 emissions 30% by 2020

by Eric Loveday,

Thirty European companies banded together and called on the European Union (EU) to slash emissions 30 percent by 2020.

The group of 30 firmly believes that such a reduction will strengthen Europe's economic future by boosting jobs and providing predictability for investors. The 30 companies are led by...

Complete Story

Fuel-Economy Rules Raise Bar for Engine Makers

by James Hagerty and Bob Tita, The Wall Street Journal

Executives frequently grumble about government regulations, but some figure out ways to profit from them.

That's likely to be the case with the nation's first fuel-economy rules for trucks and buses disclosed by the Obama administration on Monday. Cummins Inc., a maker of truck engines, expect the new rules will help bolster its market position in the U.S. and abroad.

New fuel-economy rules for trucks could help Cummins. Above, a worker puts pistons on a template in 2007.

The efficiency rules due to be phased in starting in 2014 and requiring reductions of as much as 20% in fuel use and carbon-dioxide emissions by 2018will require heavy spending on research and development. But that's "a barrier to entry" for potential competitors, Tim Solso, chief executive of Columbus, Ind.,-based Cummins, said in an interview on Tuesday.

Complete Story

BP Slams Oil-Spill Critics
CEO Accuses Media, Competitors of Fear-Mongering That Deepened Crisis

by James Herron And Guy Chazan, The Wall Street Journal

LONDON - BP PLC's new chief executive, Bob Dudley, launched a feisty defense of his company's response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill this year, accusing the media and some people in the oil industry of fear-mongering and a "rush to judgment" that exacerbated the crisis.

Mr. Dudley also reaffirmed that BP won't quit its businesses in the U.S. and intends to keep drilling in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico despite the damage to its reputation.

BP's new boss, an American, used his first speech on the company's home soil to push back at the criticism that has rained on the British oil giant since its oil well in the Gulf exploded six months ago. His comments came a few weeks after the well was finally capped for good, and just ahead of U.S. elections that could reshape a Congress that has been sharply critical of BP and its top executives.

Complete Story

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