August 22, 2012

In This Issue
AAA Watch

Washington Watch


Member Alert

Website of the Month

In the News

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Forward This Email and Earn Good Car-ma
Learn More About the Good Car-ma Program

AAA Watch
In Olympic News, AAA Mid-Atlantic Wins a Gold Medal in Backpedaling

Back in 2010, when new bike lanes were being installed along Pennsylvania Avenue, AAA Mid-Atlantic put out a press release titled "NEW BIKE LANES COULD MAKE A BAD THING WORSE." In it, spokesperson John Townsend stated that "In the minds of many motorists and commuters this plan abounds with problems," "many motorists are wondering why this plan made it to the drawing board in the first place," and "this plan is counter-intuitive."

The press release's title also insisted that "New Bike Lanes Won't Entice District Motorists Out Of Cars," even though it later states that "20 percent of surveyed AAA members in the District said the changes would compel them to become regular bicycle commuters."

Complete Story
In The News
Accident insurance for your bicycle commute
by Craig Hill for The News Tribune

Sometimes when a car passes me while I'm on my bike and I look over and see the driver texting, I think, "Man, I really wish I had cycling insurance."
And sometimes, when I'm driving and a cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road makes a too-wide turn into oncoming traffic, I think, "Man, I really wish that guy had cycling insurance."

Complete Story

Member Alert
Reimbursement for Police and Turnpike Towing

Imagine that your disabled car is blocking an intersection or freeway lane. The police officer who pulls up to help has never heard of the Better World Club, and besides, they're already on the phone to whichever towing company they have on speed dial. Unfortunately, you'll probably end up paying out-of-pocket for the tow. The good news is that we'll reimburse you for it. The same goes for getting towed on a turnpike or toll road, where only certain service providers are allowed to go. Claim forms are available on the member section of our website.
Top Story
Better World Club's Roadside Services Are Going Carbon-Neutral

This Summer, Kansas Looks So Much Like Mars That NASA Plans to Stage The Next Rover Landing There

So to Help Fight Climate Change, We'll Be Battling Martian Invaders Offsetting All Our Tow Truck Emissions

It's drier than it has been since the Dust Bowl, and the specter of greenhouse gasses floating around in the scorching air has been giving us nightmares. We dream that our network of service providers will someday drive hybrid, biodiesel, and other alternative-fuel vehicles. We've started the ball rolling by rewarding our most ecologically-friendly roadside service providers. But we realize that all the biodiesel coupons in the world won't make much of a dent in the tens of thousands of miles our providers drive.

That's why we've decided to step up and make all our roadside services carbon-neutral. We'll be adding these offsets to those we already purchase for our offices, as well as those we offer free to members who purchase auto insurance through the Better World Club. We'll also keep rewarding our members who drive hybrid, electric and biodiesel vehicles with discounts on their membership - 10% for the first year, and 5% every year after that.

And we're thinking of dropping by later with a pitcher of margaritas and a 6-pack of radiation shields.

Complete Story

Read Last Edition's Top Story:

Affordable Nationwide Accident and Liability Insurance Coverage for Cyclists
10% Discount at Motel 6

Motel 6 has proven to be one of our members' favorite discounts. With 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms in the United States and Canada, there's a Motel 6 in almost every location you can name - from the historic city of Boston to the California and Oregon coastlines, and beyond. Now celebrating 50 years in the hotel industry, Motel 6 remains up to date with plug-ins for MP3 players, free local phone calls, expanded cable and wi-fi. Pools and coin-operated laundry services are available in most locations. Finally, don't forget your furry friends! Pets are welcome at all Motel 6 locations.

Log in to the member site for more info.

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Ask us about car and bike fleet coverage!

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Washington Watch
Lack of Agreement on Federal Spending Stalls Energy Efficiency Bill

Even Though It Would Create 80,000 Jobs and Reduce Emissions by Millions of Tons

It's Like That Time You Missed the School Trip Because Your Parents Were Fighting Over Who Maxed Out the Credit Cards

A bill currently stalled in the Senate could establish the first national energy efficiency policy. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) co-authored the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011, which passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources by an 18-3 vote in July 2012. It is supported by members of both parties, most notably Senate Chair Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The Shaheen-Portman bill also has a companion: the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreement Act of 2011 (or INCAAA). As described by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy:

"The Shaheen-Portman bill contains a variety of provisions designed to increase energy efficiency in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of the economy, such as establishing centers to train building engineers and technicians in energy-efficient methods, and a loan program to support industrial energy efficiency. INCAAA establishes new and revised efficiency standards for a variety of common household and commercial appliances based on consensus agreements between product manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates."

Proponents of the Shaheen-Portman bill say it will lower consumers' net energy costs, add 80,000 jobs in the next 8 years, and lower carbon dioxide emissions by 29 million metric tons per year by 2020.

Complete Story
Website of the Month
Rent an Igloo From Your Neighbors in Nunavut

Way back in 2011 we told you about a peer-to-peer vacation rental site called Crashpadder.
They've since joined with competitor Airbnb to offer locations in 192 countries.

Like car-sharing companies Getaround and RelayRides, Airbnb allows owners to safely share resources with people they've never met. In this case, the resources include "private rooms, entire apartments, castles, boats, manors, tree houses, tipis, igloos, private islands and other properties." What, no yurts?

Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
Wireless Electric Car Charger Trial Launched In London
By Max Smolaks

On Tuesday, US wireless technology giant Qualcomm launched the London trial of its Halo wireless charger for electric vehicles (EVs)...At the core of the concept is a wireless ecosystem that seamlessly charges, connects to various networks, downloads updates and apps.

Halo uses electro-magnetic induction to transfer 3, 7 or even 20 kW of power between two cleverly designed coils, with transmission rates similar to what you get with a traditional cable charger.

The installation is easy, even in home conditions - the pad just slips on top of the garage floor, accompanied by a terminal the size of a vacuum cleaner.

Read More

Goodyear turning to soy to make longer lasting tires
by Colin Croughan

Goodyear Tire and Rubber is working on a new technology that can help make its tires less expensive to produce and last longer and it involves something that the U.S. has plenty of - soybeans.

Goodyear researchers have found that using soybean oil in the manufacturing process can extend the tread life of tires and significantly reduce the amount of petroleum required, "up to seven million gallons each year" for the company as a whole.

Read More

100 MPH Passenger Train to Link Miami and Orlando - With No Government Funds
by Brian Merchant

The Sunshine state is about to get a $1 billion, 320-mile, privately financed passenger rail line that will connect two of its most popular tourist destinations and business hubs: Orlando and Miami. Florida East Coast Industries, the company spearheading the project, has announced that the trains - which will top out at 100 mph and won't quite qualify as high speed - should be running by 2014.

FECI estimates that the rail line will take 3 million cars off the road every year.

Read More

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