July, 2006

Member Alert

AAA Watch

Top Story


Washington Watch

In The News

Member Alert
Renewals: Expect Member Package After Effective Date and Not the Date You Renewed

Plus Members: Each Affiliate Does Not Receive a Card in Their Own Name.

You're the Primary Member--We Honor You--Or At Least Our Vendor's Outdated Database Does

Please keep in mind that your materials are mailed out according to your effective date and not your renewal date. They will take about 10 business days from your effective date to arrive.

If you have multiple members on your membership you will not receive a card for all of them. You will receive a card that says "Family Member of…" for the associates. As long as the associate member is listed in the database then they will be covered. You do not need a card to receive service. All you need is a valid membership, your member number, and the 24 hour dispatch phone number. This information can be obtained in the confirmation email we sent to you at sign up or renewal
AAA Watch
AAA Plays the Tax Subsidy Game Just Like the Big Boys

It's Nice to Be the Nation's 70th Largest Corporation

One of the structural problems with the American federalist system is that it allows business to pit states against each other for little public benefit. States throw tax dollars at corporations to incent them to move to a certain state. This might make sense when a Company is adding jobs or when it is moving from overseas (maybe). But otherwise, it is merely taking money and jobs from one American and giving them to another. The net gain for Americans, other than business executives and owners, is zero.

It is well-known that large corporations play the game. But we at Kicking Asphalt had never heard of a non-profit doing so until we received the following article on how AAA moved jobs from Pennsylvania and Maryland to Delaware. It is a detailed examination of how the game works. (Don't worry Oregon and the KA staff would like our shoes shined every day...and we wouldn't mind if you threw in a back rub.)

Excerpted from:

Mapping the Route to Dollars:
AAA Mid-Atlantic's Four-State Tour
By Sarah Stecker Complete Story

Better World Club supports Eco Talk, Saturdays on Air America radio. Contact your local Air America station if it's not broadcast in your region.
Top Story
Newly Designed Website Launched

Main Goal: To Provide Greater View of All Services Available to Members

We Need Your Feedback

Better World Club is posting a newly designed website today (at www.betterworldclub.com, of course). The primary purpose of the update is to make the breadth of services on the site much more accessible to BWC members--and other visitors as well.

Did you know that Better World Club has the only page of links to every state Department of Motor Vehicles in the country? Hopefully, with the new site, you will.

We also wanted to give the site some of the corporate identity that so many of you appreciate in Kicking Asphalt, Driving Change, and TravelCool!, our eNewsletters. Hopefully, the site is more clever than its predecessors. And, of course, we need more prosaic feedback--like which links don't work.

Our IT staff still resents all of the work this has required, so we hope you appreciate their effort. (They wanted us to mention that if anyone wanted to provide them with, oh let's say, a $20.00 tip, they'd gladly accept.)

Give us your reaction to the new www.BetterWorldClub.com
Use this link if the form above doesn't work
BWC Partners with PQL Green

For Those of You Who Want to See Some "Green" As A Result

PQL Green is an investment website/newsletter that focuses on socially and environmentally responsible stocks. Launched this year as a branch of PQL Research, the Company looks to report on the increasing number of businesses that recognize the demand for environmental consciousness and responsibility. They are letting their community know about Better World Club, so we thought we'd let you know about them. They offer an eNewsletter and blog for their readers interested in the socially responsible investment. (Of course, BWC makes no representation regarding the quality of PQL Green's investment advice. But it's good to see financial professionals understanding the financial potential of green companies.)

Two Kicking Asphalt Subscribers Make News--One with New Best Seller, Other with Advice on Energy Crisis

During the last month, two Kicking Asphalt subscribers have made news. (We hesitate to call them readers until they see their names here and respond.) In each case, they are giving consumers information regarding the country's energy issues.

First, investigative reporter and KA subscriber Greg Palast has a new best seller called "Armed Madhouse" which features a contrarian argument: the oil industry wanted control of Iraq's oil not to profit from selling it, but to profit from not selling it, thereby propping up prices. Greg goes through a detailed history of the Middle East and how Iraqi oil has long been seen as the pool of oil easiest to keep off the market so as not to rededuce oil prices. You can find the book here: and Greg's website here: www.gregpalast.com.

Meanwhile, KA subscriber Dan Becker has a thoughtful interview focused more on our automotive alternatives. Dan is a Senior Representative in the Sierra Club's Washington, D.C. legislative office, and one of the nation's leading experts on global warming and clean cars. Automotive News, Detroit's trade magazine, named Dan to its list of the top 10 people in Washington who most affect the auto industry and Rolling Stone called Dan a "Climate Hero."
Member Specials
Remember the Ironweed Film Club

Well, We're Going to Keep Reminding You Until You Do

Ironweed is a monthly DVD subscription service bringing eclectic collections of independent documentary and narrative films to members across the US and Canada. Each month, Ironweed sends out a unique, members-only DVD packed with a feature film and several shorts collected from the world's best film festivals. Ironweed also provides action opportunities from relevant partner organizations, house party guides, and an online forum to encourage discussion and engagement. Monthly and annual subscriptions available.

The idea is simple: sign up for the club and every month you'll get a DVD in the mail that contains an award-winning feature film, a short film, and free extras. Subscribe now and get a special offer for Better World Club members and subscribers: your FIRST MONTH FREE (just pay $2.95 for shipping), and just $14.95 per month thereafter. To join, visit Ironweed Films
Washington Watch
Think Gas Prices Are Leading to Higher Fuel Economy? Think Again!

Little Change Since 1980s, EPA Finds

Why Is The Auto Industry Enabling The Oil Industry?

Based on reports by The Washington Post and others.

On June 27th, the Environmental Protection Agency once again announced that automakers have made no progress in improving vehicle fuel economy over the past year. This now extends the industry's record of failure to 24 years.

The industry-wide fuel economy of 2006 model-year vehicles was 21 miles per gallon, the same as the year-ago level. Certainly to no surprise of Kicking Asphalt readers, Detroit automakers trailed their Japanese, Korean and European counterparts.

Honda Motor Co. continued to rank at the top of the list with the best fuel economy, an EPA-estimated 24.2 miles per gallon. Toyota Motor Corp. was No. 2, with 23.8 miles per gallon. Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co.'s Kia and Hyundai brands tied for third at 23.5 miles per gallon. Complete Story

More Washington Watch in 'Driving Change'

State Greenhouse Gas Regulation Now Dependent on the Supremes Read More

NYTimes Editorial on Motor Vehicle Emissions Case Read More

In The News

On The Road: Where to Go Green

By Keith Rockmael
Sentinel Correspondent

Most travelers are used to seeing the green flow from their wallets and purses when they hit the road, but Northern California travelers are increasingly seeing the green aspects of eco-traveling. Green, of course, is the color of environmentally friendly practices, but it also represents the money travelers can save if they travel with the environment in mind.

Santa Cruz, of course, offers many eco-friendly events, restaurants and hotels. Here's a sampling of what's available in the wild green yonder. Complete Story

Helping Hot Hounds Keep Cool

By Sarah Casey Newman

This summer the California-based Animal Protection Institute, backed by Nissan USA and the Better World Club car club, launched My Dog Is Cool, a national campaign aimed at spreading the word about the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars. In addition to encouraging auto makers and travel clubs to help get the message across, My Dog Is Cool also provides free resources for the public to use to help join in the effort. Chief among them are the "Don't leave me in here - it's hot" flyers, which can be placed under windshield wipers. Complete Story

Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?































Better World Club Fuel Price Report

From Monday, July 24th: The recent rise in petroleum prices and the effect that it has on the American economy has been widely documented. Though, as Better World Club's Fuel Report displays, drivers of alternative-fueled vehicles are more likely to be 'gently disciplined' rather than 'hit hard'.

Following trends set in previous Fuel Reports, biodiesel is generally the most expensive of the fuels.

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

OK, We're Plugging It Again, So Who Knows What Might Happen

From reports by USA Today and Kicking Asphalt

The major auto manufacturers may not be paying attention, but several small, independent automakers are producing electric cars amid renewed concern about global warming and dependence on imported oil.

Observers say the varied assortment of vehicles in the new electric-power generation from racing-style cars to around-town jalopies have a shot at success if they can create some excitement. Complete Story

Top Ten Metropolitan Areas With Highest Vehicle Theft Rates

1. Modesto, CA
2. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV
3. Stockton, CA
4. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, AZ
5. Visalia/Porterville, CA
6. Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, WA
7. Sacramento, CA
8. San Diego, CA
9. Fresno, CA
10. Yakima, WA

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

Better World Club Looks Pretty Good. Didn't Come Close to Losing $132 Million Last Quarter--Thwarting BWC President's Dream

As Exxon Makes $10 Billion Last Quarter, Explain Again Why Auto Companies are Enabling the Oil Companies...

From Wall Street Journal Reports

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. announced huge losses in the 2nd Quarter. Ford Chief Executive William Clay Ford Jr. said that the company's $123 million loss is evidence of an increasingly tough marketplace in North America. Still, Mr. Ford expressed encouragement asserting that his restructuring plan is gaining "traction". Still, he said the auto maker must go "farther and faster" in its efforts. He said the cultural change taking place within the company's internal ranks "has been remarkable" and he sought to reassure investors by saying the same team that led turnarounds in various overseas markets are now in place in North America.
The company said Thursday it will outline further restructuring actions within the next 60 days. Complete Story

Subaru Offers The LPG "Ecomatic" In Germany
Read More


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