October 2006


Steal This Newsletter

And By 'Steal', We Mean Forward It To All Your Friends And Enemies

California Proposition 87 Has Nationwide Consequences: Encourages Independence From Foreign Oil and Alternative Fuel Research

Proposition 87, on the California ballot November 7th, should reduce our dependence on foreign oil, bring cleaner air and cheaper energy to California, and help move the entire country a giant step in the right direction.

Send this email to a friend (or enemy):
It will raise $4 billion for alternative fuel research by bringing California's oil drilling royalties into line with those of other oil-producing states. This research will have far-reaching effects, not just for California, but also for the entire country. That's why we would like you to 'steal' a copy of this newsletter and send it to as many people as you can:

Of course, Big Oil doesn't like this ballot measure, and they're doing everything they can to kill it. So far, they've spent over $50 MILLION because they don't want to pay royalties for oil drilling in California (FYI: Oil-producing states Alaska and Texas both require oil companies to pay royalties).

The proposition also contains language to keep the oil companies from passing the financial burden on to Californian consumers, in the form of higher gas prices.

Prop 87's endorsement list is lengthy and impressive, including the American Nurses Association of California, California Farmers Union, American Lung Association of CA, former US President Bill Clinton, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Film star (and former Vice President) Al Gore has thrown his support behind Proposition 87 as well. Click here to see his ad.

By clicking the link above, you can also get a free bumper sticker from the Yes on 87 campaign, and find out about houseparties all across California.

Send this email to a friend (or enemy):

Time is running out. November 7th will be here before you know it, and we need to reach as many people as possible. If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to 'steal' this newsletter and forward it to as many people as you can.

Wanted: A New Waiver

No, Not 'A Flock of Seagulls'

EPA Withholds A Waiver For California's New Emission Standards

In 2004, California adopted regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from light trucks and passenger vehicles. The new limits would phase in gradually and by 2016, greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles would be cut by 30%. Ten other states - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon*, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington - all jumped on the "Trashing-The-Planet-Is-A-Bad-Idea" bandwagon and adopted California's standards as well.

It's now 2006, and California is still waiting to implement the new standards. The only thing holding up approval is the receipt of a waiver from the EPA under section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act, which California has requested. The waiver requirement aims to ensure that the proposed state standards would be at least as protective as the federal standards. If lawsuits from automakers are any indication (and they are), the new standards are certainly "as protective" as the EPA's.

Drive Change and send EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson an email and let him know that you want the new emissions standards approved.

Even better, mail Stephen L. Johnson a letter (and/or a haiku):

USEPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Mail Code: 1101A
Washington, DC 20460

Attn: Stephen L. Johnson

*Better World Club endorsed the new emissions standards starting in California and following in Oregon, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

Related Links:

- Read the letter Congress sent to Stephen L. Johnson
- Learn more about New Wave and A Flock of Seagulls

Haiku Activism!

The true spirit of Bushido calls for a balance between the art of war and just plain old art. Once you've signed a petition for the EPA, why not show your sensitive, artistic side by sending them a haiku? It's the honorable thing to do.

do not waver, sign waiver
cali needs clean air

The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized

The UCS 'Receipt Revolution' Will Be Done The Old-Fashioned Way - Through The Mail

Our favorite greenerds, the Union of Concerned Scientists, are encouraging consumers to demand higher-mileage car choices. Are you in a demanding mood? If so, click here to join the 'Receipt Revolution'.

Vive la revolution!

Environment: Do You Like Me? Circle 'Yes' or 'No'

EPA: Let Me Think About It

EPA Sometimes Does the Right Thing...Eventually

In the "New Waiver" article above, Driving Change notes that the EPA staff have been dragging their brown loafers approving California's new emissions standards. Such "deliberation" can have a happy ending: ten years in the making, EPA is now aggressively promoting ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) - which will also reduce auto emissions.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson went so far as to note, "[ULSD] is the single greatest achievement in clean fuel since lead was removed from gasoline 25 years ago."

The ULSD conversion is a done deal. The oil and automotive industries have stopped fighting this battle, and 90% of the diesel currently produced by US refiners is ULSD.

Read more about ULSD in the Baltimore Sun.

More 'Washington Watch' in 'Kicking Asphalt':

- Nature Says Bush Administration Blocks Report Linking Hurricanes to Global Warming
- While Administration Disses Gore, Congress Is Channeling Him.


Auto Fleets Could Put U.S. on the Green Highway

It's Going to Take Momentum to Leave Gas Behind

by Edwin Black
San Francisco Chronicle

In the absence of a government-launched Manhattan (or Apollo) Project to ignite the alternative fuel revolution, the public must turn not just to the White House or the state capitol but also to the largest fleet owners in the country. Carmakers such as Honda, BMW and Toyota are waiting for only one thing before they commit their considerable resources away from gasoline cars and toward hydrogen, electric, natural gas or other alternatively fueled vehicles. Those companies want tangible demand. Fleets -- governmental, commercial and private -- have a compelling volume purchasing power no automaker can ignore.

Complete Story

Additional Ways to Get Where You're Going:

The Environment News Service isn't above using a football analogy when they warn that failure to tackle global warming could cost trillions. [Okay, it's not really an analogy. They did use the word "Tackle", though.]

Don't mess with Texas. Don't breathe there, either. The Associated Press discusses the coal plant boom in Texas and other states that you may or may not wish to "mess with".
This is strange: A conservative Canadian government favors indigenous peoples and caribou over the mining industry with the creation of a national park almost four times the size of Yellowstone.

MSNBC advises that 'Power Crunch' is not a breakfast cereal for champions (as we thought), but actually refers to electrical power outages. Knowing this, the headline 'Power Crunch Spotlights Deregulation Turmoil', makes a lot more sense.

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


Hertz So Good?

Hertz Announces Its 'Green Collection'

"Greenwashing" is usually defined as the promotion of environmentally-unfriendly activities as beneficial to the environment. Hertz's 'Green Collection' campaign doesn't qualify as greenwashing, but it comes close. It's more like "Greenspritzing" - It isn't bad per se, it's just not that good.

The Green Collection is made up of four models: Toyota Camry (23/33 city/hwy), Ford Fusion (21/29 city/hwy), Buick LaCrosse (20/30 city/hwy), and Hyundai Sonata (21/31 city/hwy).

Three reasons why we're skeptical of this move: 1) The fuel economy of these cars isn't all that great. 2) These are all cars that Hertz would have in their fleet anyway. Thus, it's not like they went out and bought a few thousand electric cars. They merely labeled cars they already owned as "Green". 3) One of the featured cars is a Buick. C'mon, we might accept the Camry as a green choice, but a Buick?

Vaguely Related Links:

The Hertz Green Collection website l Song Lyrics For 'Hurts So Good'

OScar Is AWesome

Hey, Greenerds! Here's A Chance To Get Your "Tech-Groove On" And Help Design A Car

Have you ever stared at the bland, uninspiring interior of your car and thought, "Man, this thing could really use a licorice dispenser?" If so, you're one lucky weirdo. OScar represents an ongoing effort to design a car based on open source principles. In other words, everyone can submit design ideas.

Check out the OScar website to put your two cents in (possibly into the coin tray in the trunk, suggested by Gareth Mackrill of Nampa, ID).

"Would You Like Fries With That McHybrid?"

Alternate Headline: "Did The McHummer Promotion Make You Grimace?"

Better World Club says "Yes" to both questions. Enviroblog, an aptly-named blog focusing on the environment, poses these very queries (more or less). Check it out. You can also SUPERSIZE your opinions and take it straight to the clowns at McDonalds (not Ronald, we're talking about their McMarketing Department).

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

- BWC High-Mileage Review: The Toyota Prius. We Give It Two Green Thumbs Way Up

- Art-House Environmentalism: 'The Last Winter' Premiers at Toronto Film Festival
- Alphabet Coupe: Cleaner Cars A to Z
































BWC Alternative Fuel Report:

Ethanol Prices Plummet! US Greatly Increases Production, Vowing Independence From Foreign Oil By 2010

Oil Executives Applaud The Decision And Pledge To Donate Their Salaries To Fight Global Warming

Sadly, October Is 'National Sarcasm Month'

In fact, Ethanol (E28) prices slightly increased in the last two weeks from $2.62 to $2.65 a gallon. Prices for Biodiesel (B20), Diesel, and Gasoline dropped over the last two weeks.

Regionally, the last two weeks have seen an overall drop in prices. On the West Coast, prices for Diesel and B20 dropped an average of $0.18, Gasoline dropped $0.14, and E85 remained the same. The lucky SOBs (Supporters of Biodiesel) in the Western states saw B20 prices drop by $0.22! Western prices for E28, Gasoline, and Diesel also fell. Things are more stable in the Mid-West, with B20 averages remaining the same, and E28, Gasoline, and Diesel rates only dropping by an average of $0.05. Hummer drivers in the Northeast are dancing around gleefully on their cloven hooves: Gas and Diesel prices dropped by $0.17 and $0.09, respectively. Northeasterners who aren't quite so evil aren't quite so happy: B20 and E28 averages remained the same. In the genteel South, prices dropped for Gas, B20, and Diesel by an average of $0.08. The supply of E28 must be shrinking, however, because E28 prices jumped by an average of $0.22! [Our theory: Southern ethanol is being used for the production of Mint Juleps instead of E28 fuel.]

Ethanol 85 is either the least or most expensive automobile fuel, depending on the region, reflecting the importance of availability and its being offered most broadly in the Midwest.

Do you have an unnatural interest in fuel prices? Are you a fan of tables filled with important-looking numbers? If so, we recommend finding a healthier hobby (stamp collecting, bounty hunting, etc.) or you can feed your fetish by checking out BWC's previous Alternative Fuel Report, 'Ride Cometh Before The Fall', as published in the September issue of Kicking Asphalt.

BWC Now Publishing Reviews of High-Mileage Vehicles

What's Next? Better World Club Home Pregnancy Tests?

As part of our ongoing effort to create even more work for ourselves, BWC is proud to announce the launch of our monthly reviews of high-mileage vehicles. The first review - a detailed look at the Toyota Prius - was published in the September Issue of Kicking Asphalt. If you want to go directly to the review, click here.

"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:

Grind Vegan Chi

#1 GoodSearch Result For "Grind Vegan Chi"
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