Tell the EPA to protect our Air
September 2007

Industrial Special Interests Attempt to Cloud Smog Debate

They Think Reasons for Reducing Smog Are….Well…Hazy

EPA Disagrees…For Now

Your Clarity Is Required!

Ozone, which forms smog, is currently regulated at 84 parts per billion. A newly proposed standard would tighten regulations by allowing only 70 – 75 parts per billion. The EPA is however allowing public comment on maintaining current standards.

The head of the EPA, Stephen L. Johnson – himself a scientist – noted, “based upon the science, I do not believe there is scientific justification for retaining the current standard. Hence I am proposing to toughen the standard.”

According to EPA scientists, a tougher standard would provide an “appropriate health protection and would result in important improvements in protecting the health of sensitive groups.” Who are these “sensitive groups”? The EPA lists them as asthmatic children and other people with lung disease, as well as healthy children and older adults – especially those active outdoors, and outdoor workers. In other words, everyone except healthy young and middle-aged adults. That’s a whole lot of people who stand to benefit from tougher ozone standards.

The fact that Johnson – the most political EPA chief in recent history – and EPA scientists all agree that current standards are not conducive to public health, why are they even considering maintaining them?

The short answer: industry lobbyists. The National Association of Manufacturers has been lobbying for the smog standard to stay the same, contending that lowering it would be “costly and unnecessary”.

We need our readers to Drive Change and do a bit of lobbying too. Send an email to the EPA if you think that ensuring public health is more important than protecting rich polluters.

The agency is only taking public comments until October 9th, 2007, so the time to act is now! They will announce their final decision by March 12, 2008.

Haiku Activism!

The true spirit of Bushido calls for a balance between the art of war and just plain old art. Once you’ve signed a petition for the EPA, why not show your sensitive, artistic side by sending them a haiku? It’s the honorable thing to do.

Appliances suck
More energy than needed.
We can do better.

– Elizabeth M.
San Francisco, CA

Click here to read more BWC member haikus.

Simple Things You Can Do To Fight Global Warming

Turn Off, Tune Out, Unplug

Many appliances use electricity even when they are turned off. In fact, 25% of the energy a television uses is consumed when it is not even powered on. The only way to be sure your appliance is not using power is to unplug it, or to plug it into a power strip, which you can then switch off. (Power strips do consume a small amount of energy, but far less than the appliances when plugged in directly.)


California’s Request to Set Its Own Emissions Regs Turns Into a Soap OperaThe Bush Administration is Being Accused of Quietly Lobbying Congressmen to Undermine the State’s Efforts

What Next? Maybe Governor Schwarzenegger’s Evil Twin Brother Will Take Over the State After Arnie Wrecks his Car, Gets Amnesia, and Becomes a Lobbyist for the Auto Industry, Ultimately Fighting Against the Very Emissions Standards Law that He Helped Champion?

Don’t Steal This! Driving Change Editor Is Working on the Screenplay

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) is the latest guest star in California’s ongoing and seemingly never-ending struggle to set its own auto emissions standards. Waxman, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has accused the Bush administration of leaning on Congressmen to generate negative buzz from government officials (not unlike that time on ‘The Young and the Restless’ when Victor tried to force Phyllis to testify against Jack in return for her own freedom).

“It is not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars to organize a lobbying campaign to politicize this vital regulatory decision,” Waxman said in a letter to James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Complete Story.

More ‘Washington Watch’ in ‘Kicking Asphalt’

– Vermont Court Victory A Blow To Automakers, But This Trip Is Far From Over: States Continue Down the Long Road Toward Setting Their Own CAFE Standards


Carmakers Switching to Electric Motors

by Tom Krisher
Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) Beneath your car’s hood, there are belts hooked to the engine, running the power steering, air conditioning and other items that drag on the engine and cut gas mileage. But as fuel efficiency becomes paramount with high gas prices and pending government regulations, automakers across the world are trying to get rid of as many belts as they can, switching them to electric motors.

The power steering pump is likely to be the first casualty. Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. already have electric power steering on some models, with more in the works, and they report fuel efficiency gains of up to 8 percent.

Other manufacturers and parts suppliers also are using or developing the motors, which could spread to air conditioning and power brake assist devices run by belts that suck power from the engine. Complete Story.

Additional Ways to Get Where You’re Going:

These don’t drive in Peoria: Green cars you aren’t allowed to buy.

You Can Get There From Here…For Now. With climate disasters imminent, the London Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, worries that, in the near future, famous geographical features will disappear forever.

GLOBAL WARMING KILLS ANIMALS (and has been known to use the 10-item “express lane” at the supermarket even when it clearly has more than ten items in its shopping cart – what a jerk)

For the love of peat: Maybe thawing permafrost isn’t so bad after all.If you would like to contribute your opinion to Driving Change’s Giving Directions please email it to us at YOU PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS?

Anita RoddickSocially Responsible Business Pioneer Dies Too Young

Body Shop Founder Anita Roddick Passes Away at 64

I am proud to say that I knew Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop. I didn’t know her well, but we were members of the same business groups, so I got to see her in action plenty. It was a privilege – as well as a good time.

Anita did more than run a successful business, (one that ultimately came to be valued at over $1 billion, although she retained only 18% of it with her husband, Gordon when it was sold to L’Oreal,) she was a pioneer of socially responsible business.

Oh, she didn’t go back as far as, say, Murray Lincoln, the progressive head of Nationwide Insurance back in the 1940s & 50s, but she was a leader of responsible business when it inched its way to becoming a movement. She was of the generation of entrepreneurs which only dates back to the 1970s and 1980s: the Body Shop started a few years before Ben & Jerry’s, the Calvert Fund, Working Assets, and then the thousands of businesses that have followed. Complete Story.

More ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ in ‘Kicking Asphalt’:

Plug-in hybrids seen as vehicles for change: A study projects lower emissions and sufficient power grid capacity.
Cal gets to street-test Toyota plug-in hybrid

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