April 2009


California Waiver II: A New Hope

Hollywood Loves a Sequel, But This is Ridiculous

Help the EPA Put an End to this Legislative Franchise and Support California's Efforts to Set Its own Auto Emissions Standards

A long time ago (2002) in a galaxy far, far away (Sacramento), then-Governor Gray Davis signed legislation that should have allowed California to regulate its own greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, auto manufacturers and the Bush-run EPA have done everything in their power to block this move, including a (potentially) illegal denial by the EPA in March of 2008.

The new EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, recently reopened this issue for public comments. The EPA stopped collecting comments on April 6th, but you can still help move this issue forward.

The US House of Representatives is considering H.R. 609: Right to Clean Vehicles Act, which would permit California and other states to control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.

We urge our readers to Drive Change by contacting their Representatives, and letting them know that they support California's right to enact tougher auto emissions standards.

Once you've sent a petition, we ask that you also forward this email to a friend.

Instead of Tossing More Money at the Detroit 3, the Government Should Help You Trade in that '94 Mercury Sable

They Might Also Want to do Something About that '90s Hairdo of Yours

We opined in last month's 'Kicking Asphalt' that instead of dumping truckloads of money on the doorsteps of the Detroit automakers, the government should use the money to guarantee auto warranties for US consumers.

When the Obama Administration included this idea in its effort to help the U.S. auto industry, Obama's political opposition caricatured the idea as putting the government in the auto business. This is silly. As we argued, its real purpose is to facilitate bankruptcy, likely the only answer for the industry.

Sure enough, GM just announced that it was preparing itself for bankruptcy.

OK, Obama Administration, as you appear to be listening, here's another idea: incent consumers to trade in their old, gas-guzzling cars for new, more fuel-efficient models*. Complete Story

*This idea can also work in other areas, though we don't recommend using it to trade in your old, inefficient spouse.

More 'Washington Watch' in 'Kicking Asphalt'

- Don't Give the Big 3 Automakers Federal Money, Give It To U.S. Consumers As A Warranty


Our Collective Addiction to Oil

By Jim Wilcox
Executive Director
BikeLane Coalition

Once again, sales of trucks and SUV's are out pacing car sales. Have we already forgotten $4 a gallon gas, plunging SUV values, and presidential warnings of oil addiction? Were last summer's gas prices a result of greedy foreign producers selling oil for whatever we would pay, or unscrupulous speculators after profit? No matter. Big vehicles are back. But are we driving down the road to renewed prosperity or further dependence? Complete Story

Additional Ways to Get Where You're Going:

"New Economy" Tips: cutting coupons, showering at truck stops*, and fighting climate change are all ways to save money. [*This is also a great way to make new friends]

Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan must have finally hired drivers: New Reports Shows Significant Drop In Auto Fatalities.

Pop quiz time! Is
"Getting There Greener" A) A sizzling, tell-all memoir about sex, drugs, and working for Betty Crocker, penned by the Green Giant, B) A new reality series on VH1 starring the Green Giant, or C) A guide to lower-carbon vacations that has nothing to do with the Green Giant?

More Good News for People Who Love Bad News: Sea Levels are Rising Faster than Expected.

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


Fewer Roads, Less Congestion?

Posted by Clark Williams-Derry
Sightline Daily

A while back, the Christain Science Monitor ran a fascinating article on one of the most counterintuitive subjects in transportation policy: the so-called Braess Paradox. Stated simply, mathematician Dietrich Braess proved the unthinkable: sometimes, building a new road -- even a high-speed one -- can slow down traffic. Complete Story

S&P Cuts GM, Chrysler Debt Ratings on Bankruptcy Fears

Dayton Business Journal

Standard & Poor's Rating Services lowered its debt ratings for Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp., and added that bankruptcy is likely and could lead to the break-up of Chrysler. Complete Story


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