August 2006


Stuck In The '80s

Help Bring The US Fleet MPG Average Into The 21st Century

"Just Say No" To Not Supporting Higher Fuel Standards

We Pity The Fool Who Doesn't Support These Bills

In an article published last month, Better World Club noted that American fuel economy has not appreciably improved since the 1980s ( Click Here For That Story). Well, now we're offering readers a way to do something about it.

In the Senate, two separate measures have been introduced that would improve auto fuel economy. The Feinstein-Snowe "Ten-in-Ten" bill requires a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon for cars, SUVs, and pickups by 2017. The Obama-Lugar-Biden Fuel Economy Reform Act calls for 4% increases in overall fleet fuel economy every year.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is asking concerned citizens to contact their senators and urge them to support these bills.

CLICK HERE to take action with the Union of Concerned Scientists

Best Ways To Beat The Heat This Summer: Drink Lots Of Fluids And Support The "Safe Climate Act"

Not Necessarily In That Order

Global warming is a hot topic this year, and lots of folks are talking about it. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), however, is doing more than just talking. He's taking some action. Waxman has introduced the "Safe Climate Act" (H.R. 5642), a comprehensive bill that would gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions through 2050.

According to Rep. Waxman, the bill's targets include freezing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, at the 2009 levels. Beginning in 2011, it would cut emissions by roughly 2% per year, reaching 1990 emissions levels by 2020. After 2020, it would cut emissions by roughly 5% per year. By 2050, emissions would be 80% lower than in 1990. This goal is similar to goals that have been announced by United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Senate version of this bill, the "Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act", was recently introduced by Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT). This bill includes provisions that are very similar to those of Rep. Waxman's Safe Climate Act.

Drive Change by sending Congress an email and let them know that you support both the "Safe Climate Act" and the "Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act".

Related Articles:

Grist Magazine l Austin Chronicle l Vermont Guardian

Supply-Side Obsession: We're Getting Drilled!

Senate OKs Off-Shore Drilling

Do We Really Want to Drain America First?

Earlier this year, President George W. Bush said that America was addicted to oil. Usually, the prescription for addicts is entirely "demand-side": to wean the abuser off of the addiction.

But when it comes to oil, the Congressional leadership's remedies are heavily "supply-side". This month the U.S. Senate voted to open eight million acres off the shores of Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama to destructive oil and gas drilling.

Now, Better World Club does not have a position against any and all off-shore drilling. But as the primary response to addiction, supply-side treatments make no sense. At this moment, Congress should be raising the fuel economy of our cars, encouraging the use of renewable energy like wind and solar power, and adopting other, existing technologies that cut pollution and curb global warming. And they should be funding the new technologies at least to the extent that they support nuclear power (including the federal subsidies for waste disposal.)

Only if these therapies don't work, should we consider helping the pushers generate greater supplies of the very drug that the President says is harming us. And if we find that we cannot control the demand-side, do we really want to have drained our own oil supplies? At that point, we won't merely be addicts, but desperate ones.

More 'Washington Watch' in 'Kicking Asphalt'

Think Gas Prices Are Leading to Higher Fuel Economy? Think Again!


A Member Responds to Last Month's Article on Citgo and Venezuela

As noted last month, we want to keep readers apprised of the debate over whether Citgo Oil, owned by the Venezuelan government, should be "boycotted" or "buycotted". Last month, Driving Change featured Jeff Cohen's report on visiting Venezuela. This month, we want to publish a response form one of our members:

Dear BWC,

Can't help but comment on the report from Jeff Cohen. While I find his opponent's quotes (at least the ones he chose to put on the web site) downright moronic, he himself reminds me of some Westerners of the early 1900s who, driven by romanticism and idealism, were supporting the Bolshevik revolution in Russia even after it was quite apparent what a monstrosity it turned into. Complete Story

Read Jeff Cohen's report on his visit to Venezuela.

Additional Ways to Get Where You're Going:

The BBC notes that the number of Alcohol Dependent Cars in Brazil Has Reached 2 Million

But Corn Based Ethanol Has Its Issues according to The New Standard.
Economist Dean Baker Touts Pay As You Drive Auto Insurance as Reducing Global Warming at
You don't have to be American to want an Apollo Program for alternative energy development reports The Guardian.

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


What Were These Jokers Thinking?

McDonalds and Hummer Join Forces To Create Quite Possibly The Most Obnoxious Cross-Promotional Campaign Ever

Wal-Mart and Exxon/Mobil Execs To Discuss Potential Rival Campaign

Well, it had to happen eventually. McDonalds and Hummer have teamed up to give us the "Hummer of a Summer" promotion. According to McDonalds marketing execs, the idea is to bring "the fun and excitement of Hummer vehicles" to "McDonald's youngest guests."

This apparently involves hiding plastic toys in sacks of deep-fried food.

With all the veggie oil waste that they produce, McDonalds should be promoting bio-diesel. Instead, they're teaching children that 11 MPG vehicles are "fun" and "exciting".

We recommend sending McDonalds an email and letting them know how you feel about their "Hummer of a Summer".

Related Links:

EWG Petition l UCS Petition l Daily Grist l Another Unholy Alliance?

More 'Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is' in 'Kicking Asphalt'.

Better World Plugs "Who Killed Electric Cars" Film and Now Electric Cars Make Comeback - Read More

GM Loses $3.2 billion while Ford Is In The Red by Only $132 Million in Second Quarter - Read More
































Shock of the Century: Fuel Prices Up. Unless you Drive Electric. But That is Shocking Too.

The increasing costs of petroleum and the effect that it has on the American economy has been the subject of much hysteria, concern and legislation. Better World Club's Fuel Report reflects the average costs of alternative fuels versus standard fuels. In many cases, drivers of alternative-fueled vehicles are more likely to be 'gently disciplined' rather than 'hit hard' by high fuel prices.

August has seen biodiesel rise across the entire country, yet Ethanol has decreased in 3 of 5 regions. Reflecting the importance of availability, Ethanol 85 is either the least or most expensive automobile fuel, depending on the region.

BWC Offers A New And Improved Website

Check it out and be prepared to be dazzled.

"Kicking Asphalt" and "Driving Change", and "TravelCool!" the eNewsletters of Better World Club

Maybe you already receive the monthly issues of Driving Change and Kicking Asphalt, but do you know about 'TravelCool!'? It's Better World Club's newest eNewsletter, written by BWC's remarkably frugal (aka, cheapskate) staff. Who better than penny-pinchers to let you know the best deals and most appealing vacations? And these canny consumers are socially responsible--so they are looking for the best eco-travel alternatives. If you're not already subscribed, you can check out the latest issue, or subscribe.

DRIVING CHANGE Anagram of the Month:

Changed Virgin

#1 GoodSearch Result For "Changed Virgin" l What is GoodSearch?

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