August 2008


How Do You Spell Relief?

Is the Economy Giving You Heartburn? Well, Put Down the Rolaids and Contact Your Representative

Representative Earl Blumenauer (the rep for most of us here at Better World Club) is sponsoring a bill called the Transportation and Housing Choices for Gas Price Relief Act.

The Act recognizes that high gas prices and a sluggish economy are encouraging Americans to use public transportation in record numbers. Unfortunately, in too many cities and small towns there's inadequate access to such transit.

"There is no magic silver bullet that will solve the energy crisis, but there are things we can do now to reduce the impact of high gas prices on American families," said Rep. Blumenauer. "One thing we must do is give people more transportation choices, and my bill does this by offering incentives for commuters to carpool, ride public transit, bicycle, or telecommute. By diminishing the impact of gas prices on family budgets, these common sense ideas can make an immediate difference in the lives of over-stretched Americans."

This bill was only recently introduced and isn't up for a vote yet. Thus, we urge our readers to Drive Change by contacting their Representatives in Congress and asking them to cosponsor this important piece of legislation.

- Click here to read the bill in all its glory

What The Frack?!?!?

The Oil and Gas Industries are Pumping Millions of Gallons of Dangerous Chemicals Into the Ground, and Nobody's Regulating Them

Gosh, the EPA Must Be Too Busy Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cars... No, Wait, They're Not Doing That Either

Well, Maybe They're All Too Busy Lining Up Jobs in the Oil, Chemical, and Mining Industries Before January 2009

Fracturing ("fracking") fluids are toxic chemical cocktails that companies drilling for oil or natural gas use to break up rock below ground. The ingredients that make up these fracking fluids are a closely held and unregulated secret, and can include almost any set of chemicals.

The EPA okayed the use of these fluids in 2004, deeming them safe for groundwater and the environment. In 2005, Congress exempted fracking fluids from the Safe Drinking Water Act, due to the fact that they are usually pumped into the ground far below water tables. Complete Story / Comment On This Story

In Upset, Tenn. Incumbent Loses on Oil Issue

Washington Post

The heated Democratic primary contest between Rep. Steve Cohen and attorney Nikki Tinker fizzled out at the Memphis polls Thursday, as Cohen easily overcame Tinker's late invocation of race and religion and cruised to a 60-point victory. Instead, a northeastern Tennessee contest that had flew below the radar ended up headlining the day's electoral news, as freshman Rep. David Davis unexpectedly lost narrowly in the GOP primary to Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe in the 1st district. Complete Story

More 'Washington Watch' in 'Kicking Asphalt'

- Pelosi Wants to "Save The Earth" Hmm...How About Wanting to "Save Our Economy and Defend Our Country and the Environment"?
- Energy Crisis Raises Questions: Do Conservatives Believe In America?


Cleaner than electric?Prius and Prejudice II: The Case Against the Case Against the Electric Car (and the Case for It, Too!)

Last month, Sunil Somalwar, a physics professor at Rutgers University, was kind enough to submit an article to Driving Change entitled "Prius and Prejudice: A Case Against the Electric Car". The piece generated a lot of responses, both pro and con.

This month, we're publishing these responses from our readers and asking others to post their own opinions to the comments section at the end of this article (this is a new feature!). Complete Story / Comment On This Story

Additional Ways to Get Where You're Going:

Google is going to help you get your (hot) rocks off with geothermal energy.

Arctic ice may be at record low. Michael Phelps, confused but undeniably on a roll, vows to break that record.

Gas-powered cars gain in popularity! Correction: Natural gas-powered cars gain in popularity!

Is there anything bacteria can't do? It makes wine, cheese, yogurt, and the occasional absence from work possible (hooray for salmonella!). Now, researchers have figured out a way to make hydrogen from bacteria.

If you would like to submit an article to Driving Change's 'Giving Directions' please email it to us at


Small Engine, Big Mileage, Same Power? Just Say "GDI"

Okay, now the carmakers say they get it. Americans want better fuel economy, and they want it now. And just to make sure that message was received, last December Congress passed a law that requires fleet mileage of 35 mpg by 2020.

So how does the industry plan to get there? Despite what many green consumers might like to think, we won't all be driving electric cars or even hybrids next year. Hybrids may be a much larger portion of the market by 2015GM exec Bob Lutz says it may be 30 percent, certainly higher than the current 2.5 percentbut large numbers of cars between now and 2020 will still be fueled by plain old gasoline.
Complete Story

Eco-police find new target: Oreos

(Fortune) -- What do Oreo cookies made by Nabisco (KFT, Fortune 500), Cheez-It crackers from Kellogg's (K, Fortune 500) or General Mills' (GIS, Fortune 500) Fiber One Chewy Bars have to do with global warming and the destruction of tropical rainforests? A lot, say environmental activists.
Complete Story

More 'Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?' in 'Kicking Asphalt':
- Obama Ups Ante on PHEVs in Candidates' Plug-In Race
- GM Teams With Dozens Of Utilities on Plug-In Cars


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