August 31, 2007

AAA Watch

In The News

Top Story


Recycled Content

Washington Watch

AAA Watch
AAA Burned By 'Ring Of Fire'

A recent broadcast of Air America's syndicated radio show 'Ring of Fire' included a jab at AAA. Click here to listen! (The AAA comment is made shortly after the 7th minute of the broadcast.)
In The News
Lazy Environmentalist Speaks to Workaholic BWC President

Always Nice to Have Mitch's Help with KA Headlines

KA Originally Said: Who's Really the Laziest Person in that Sentence?

(But Don't Tell Him You Heard It From Us)

Have you ever sat around and fantasized about what Better World Club President Mitch Rofsky's voice might sound like? If so, you've got waaaay too much time on your hands. Regardless, we at BWC don't judge our members (except you, Nick Parrett of Norwalk, CT. We've got your number, pal). And so, we invite you to listen to Mitch Rofsky's interview with the Lazy Environmentalist.

BWC Featured on the Tao of Change Blog

Click here to read the complete blog entry.

Member Alert
Gas Hysteria

Confused By The Gas Rebate Coupons?

It's best to submit your coupons every quarter and not all at once. That way, the coupons are less likely to get separated from receipts. Also, we only need one receipt per quarter and not one for every month. As long as that receipt is at least $10 you will receive a check back for $10. Complete Story.

Need To Get Out Of Town In A Hurry?

Try Our Spiffy New Booking Engine

Be sure to take a peek at our 'Bodacious Page of Travel Links and Resources'. Our travel links page sports a crazy HUGE number of links, so if you're planning some travel this is a great resource.

Member Specials

You Won't Belize Your Eyes!

Visit St. George's Caye Lodge

BWC Members Receive a 15% Discount

St. George's Caye Lodge is a private island paradise. This conveniently located island haven is a short boat ride to all inland tours. Each year, more and more travelers come to discover Belize as one of the world's most precious natural treasures. The sense of seclusion you will find creates a truly personal experience. Complete Story

More BWC Member Discounts:

- Member Specials featured previously in 'Kicking Asphalt'
- Eco-Travel Discounts
- Eco-Lodging Discounts
- Various Member Discounts
Top Story
When It Comes to Carbon Offsets, We Need You To Be More Calculating

Better World Club Provides First One-Stop Location For All Travel Needs-and the Fight to Reduce Global Warming

Reduce Your Environmental Footprint, for, as Fats Waller Said: "Your Feets Too Big!"

Waller Didn't Mention That Our Price Has Also Dropped

Better World Club was the first company in the roadside assistance, travel, and insurance industries to offer carbon offsets. Since the beginning, we've been offering our members several carbon offset options:

1.) Book a flight through Better World Travel – Members who book round-trip domestic US flights with a Better World Travel Agent will get a free carbon offset for their flight.
2.) Book a flight through the Internet, another travel agency, or airline and send your tax-deductible donation to offset the CO2 emissions from your flight.
3.) Purchase auto insurance through Better World Insurance – offset your car's first ton of greenhouse gas emissions free.

Now, Better World Club is pioneering a one stop website where a driver or flier can purchase auto insurance, roadside assistance, or flights and have the ability to calculate and offset their travel-related carbon emissions. And the price has fallen from $11.00 per trip/ton of offset to $7.50--and sometimes less. Buy offsets from the member site and get 10% off.

For the first time, travelers can go to one website,, and purchase auto insurance and/or emergency roadside assistance protection and offset their auto emissions for one year. Flying, not driving? Complete Story

Ready To Offset?

1.) Precisely determine the carbon footprint of your air travel.
2.) Easily and precisely offset the greenhouse gas emissions of your automobile (or to offset the emissions beyond the first 2,000 miles of driving if you are a Better World Club insurance client.)

Read Last Issue's Top Story:

- Happy Birthday To Us! Better World Club Turns Five Years Old!

Earth Friendly Never Sounded So Good!

Tell Us Your Idea for an Earth Friendly CD and Win a Whole Mess of CDs from Universal Music

The Grand-Prize Winner Will Receive 20 CDs, Including a "Best-Of" Album from Academy Award-Winning Live Earth Performer Melissa Etheridge

All Prize CDs Come in Universal Music Enterprise's Fully Recyclable Eco-pak (tm) Packages

Unless you've been hanging out with Dick Cheney in an underground bunker in an undisclosed location for the last few months, you will have heard of Al Gore's Live Earth concerts for the environment on 07/07/07. You may have even watched them, along with over 2 billion other viewers.

Better World Club and Universal Music would like to help you keep the party going long after the concerts are over with a Live Earth-inspired contest. Complete Story

"What is your idea for the perfect environmentally-friendly CD (music and packaging)?"

More Info on Universal Music's Environmentally-Friendly CDs:

Number 1's – A brand new line of CDs featuring Number 1 hits from the biggest names in music. All come in Eco Friendly packaging.

20th Century Masters Millennium Collection – The best selling single artist music compilation series of all time! Now available in eco friendly packaging.

Melissa Etheridge – Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled –In addition to her Greatest Hits, this re-packaged CD also contains the Academy Award winning song "I Need To Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth". This is the first time that this song is available on CD.

If you don't feel like entering the contest, you can buy Universal Music's environmentally-friendly CDs on

The Safe Teen Driving Club

If Only Lindsay Lohan's Mom Had Known About These Guys...

BWC Members Receive Discounts On STDC Products And Services!

We're pleased to announce a new partnership this month with the Safe Teen Driving Club, headquartered in Atlanta.

The Club's mission is to address the number one cause of death and injury for teenagers -- driving crashes. Many don't know that drugs, guns, alcohol, suicide, homicide and all other causes pale in comparison to driving crashes, with about 44 percent of teen deaths taking place on the highways. Complete Story.

Check out the Safe Teen Driving Club website to learn more about the club and to take advantage of BWC member discounts on STDC products and services!

Please Validate Us!

Not that we're needy or anything, but we would love our members to rate us on, a community-powered directory of green products and businesses. So far, 8 out of 9 reviewers think Better World Club is perfect! The one isn't so happy with us, but no one is truly perfect, except, of course, our intelligent and good-looking members (was that too much sucking up?).
KA - AutoErotic Edition
Do you recall seeing more data on automobiles in Kicking Asphalt, but can't find it below? That's because we are now publishing a second edition of Kicking Asphalt. This edition, which features a variety of distinctive, consumer-oriented features on cars--and has been dubbed 'KA AutoErotic' by one of our members, includes:

- The BWC High-Mileage Review: 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid.

- Recall Information
- Lemon Information
Washington Watch
The Ice Caps Melt While Emissions Policies Remain Frozen:

Major International and Domestic Initiatives Aren't Moving Until Bush Leaves Office in 2009

There's an old saying: lead, follow, or get out of the way. When it comes to emissions policy, the Bush administration has chosen to do a bit of all three: leading the public to believe they're actually doing something, following the wishes of the oil and automotive industries, and getting out of the way of major polluters.

Repeated use of these tactics has revealed a policy pattern. Back in June, the leaders of the G8 nations met in Germany to discuss several important global issues. German Chancellor Andrea Merkel announced prior to the meeting that the centerpiece of the 2007 summit would be global climate change. Complete Story

Bush sought to torpedo this initiative first by preemptively announcing his own voluntary carbon reduction plan a week before the G8 meeting. At the meeting, Bush was able to leverage his influence to make sure the final G8 resolution lacked teeth. The result? The G8 leaders agreed to "seriously consider" cutting carbon emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. They also agreed to have a post-Kyoto climate change agreement set up by 2009. Thus, the US doesn't actually have to cut any emissions before 2009 at the earliest ( click here to read the June 18th KA article on this topic).

This pattern applies to domestic policy as well. Better World Club has long been reporting on California's fight against the EPA to enact its own Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. After much back-and-forth, the EPA was finally forced by the Supreme Court to consider California's request.

Since then, Bush-appointed EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson has appeared before congressional committees on several occasions. Congress has repeatedly asked Johnson when the EPA would be done considering California's request, and Johnson has repeatedly stated that the EPA needs more time.

The most recent excuse given was the need to review 60,000 public comments filed by the June 15 deadline. Of course, according to EPA staffers, 53,000 of the responses were identical comments supporting California - the result of a mass mailing campaign.

Number of Environmental Cops Decreasing

by Rita Beamish

Fewer U.S. environmental cops are tracking criminal polluters these days, their numbers steadily dropping below levels ordered by Congress. Complete Story.
More Washington Watch in Kicking Asphalt and Driving Change:
- We Interrupt Consideration of the Energy Bill for a New Idea: A Sky Trust
- The EPA Is Encouraging Farmers To Pollute To Study The Effects Of Animal Feces On The Environment

TravelCool Website of the Month

Level Orange will make you blue if you get stuck in a security line at the airport. Check security wait times at your airport before you go. is a great source of news for all things that might hold you up at the airport.

Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?




























BWC Alternative Fuel Report

The Same Old Song And Dance:

Gas Prices are Down; Diesel and Biodiesel Prices are Up





























Over the last month, gasoline and E85 Ethanol prices dropped $0.10 and $0.04, respectively. Diesel prices, including Petro-Diesel, B20 Biodiesel, and B99 Biodiesel all rose.

Regionally, prices jumped most sharply on the West Coast, with B20 and B99 prices rising $0.20 and $0.08, respectively. The overall average prices for biodiesel and ethanol actually dropped $0.02 in the South, while they remained the same in the North East.

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 ( getting a job on an underwater research station and singing duets in Portuguese, arranging plates of petit fours "just so", etc.) or you can feed your fetish by checking out BWC's previous Alternative Fuel Report ' The Calm Before The Storm: Gas Prices Are Down, But Like The South, Shall Rise Again' as published in the June 29th issue of 'Kicking Asphalt'.

Plug-in hybrids seen as vehicles for change

A study projects lower emissions and sufficient power grid capacity.

By Martin Zimmerman
LA Times

The widespread use of plug-in hybrid vehicles which could be driven up to 40 miles on electric power alone would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States without overloading the nation's power grid, according to a new study.

The upbeat news for plug-ins, seen by many as the next big step in environmentally friendly automotive technology, came with two caveats. Achieving the maximum air quality improvements would require a significant cut in the pollution produced by electric utilities. It's also dependent on large-scale adoption of plug-in hybrids, which may not be in new-car showrooms for several years.

Even so, backers of plug-in technology were heartened by the latest findings, which could help defuse the claim that the vehicles simply would transfer the source of air pollution from vehicle tailpipes to power station smokestacks. Complete Story

Cal gets to street-test Toyota plug-in hybrid

by Michael Taylor
San Francisco Chronicle

Toyota took a big step Wednesday toward marketing plug-in hybrid cars -- vehicles that run mostly on rechargeable batteries and can go 100 miles on a gallon of gas -- when it announced it would provide two specially made Priuses to the University of California for testing on U.S. roads.

The Japanese company will be the first major carmaker to put the experimental electric-gas hybrid cars on American streets for daily driving when the Priuses take to the road in Berkeley and Irvine this fall.

The news came less than a week after a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Electric Power Research Institute, a power-industry trade group, reported that widespread use of the gas-sipping cars would greatly reduce greenhouse gases as well as domestic oil consumption. Complete Story

More "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" in Driving Change:

- Honda Discontinues The Accord Hybrid, But Introduces A Diesel Accord
- BP gets break on dumping in lake


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