The following AAA press release
accompanied its 1999 report "Clearing the Air".
AAA has accused Better World of "lying" or "a
lack of integrity" when we described the thrust of
AAA's report: that public policy should lay off the automobile
when it comes to air pollution. Well, here's the press release
and you can decide who has a "lack of integrity".
comments by the environmental community
(Including Daniel Becker, Director of Sierra Club's Global
TO SMOG DECLINING -- NOW LESS THAN 24%
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 29, 1999 Despite
the growing number of vehicles and miles traveled, cars
and light trucks cause less than 24 percent of the emissions
that lead to ground-level ozone problems in 25 major cities,
according to a AAA study based on data submitted to the
Environmental Protection Agency.
The light-truck category includes sport utility
vehicles (SUVs) and minivans.
"Clearing the Air 1999,"
the third such analysis of EPA data done by AAA, reveals
that in cities such as Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington,
DC, 65 percent to 80 percent of the volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) comes from stationary sources
such as power plants and refineries, and mobile sources
other than cars and light trucks.
This is true as well for Baltimore, Charlotte,
St. Louis and Phoenix, where auto and light truck emissions
have declined by about 65 percent since 1970, despite a
more than 100 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled.
The reason? The production of cleaner cars,
stimulated by the tightening of federal tailpipe emissions
standards, cleaner gasoline and more effective state inspections.
"Overall air quality in our cities is
improving," said Susan G Pikrallidas, interim vice
president of Public and Government Relations for AAA, "and
its due in large part to the automobile. This study
confirms that smog produced by automobiles continues to
decline and does not contribute inordinately to ozone problems
in our cities when compared to the contribution of other
Because automobiles and light trucks continue
to receive disproportionate attention as contributors to
urban ozone, AAA said, it is important that their contributions
be understood, as well as their progress toward reducing
"Through these studies, AAA sends a clear
message to governments federal, state and local
that they need to go beyond simply targeting passenger vehicles
if they hope to make any real progress in further cutting
the smog in our cities," said Pikrallidas.
The 1999 study and its predecessors were conducted
by Energy & Environmental Analysis, Inc., of Arlington,
AAA is a not-for-profit federation of 90 clubs
with 1,100 offices providing more than 42 million members
in the United States and Canada with travel, insurance,
financial and automotive-related services.
"A lot of people belong to AAA because
they think it's a nice place to get Triptiks® and traveler's
checks. What they don't know is that AAA is a lobbyist for
more roads, more pollution, and more gas guzzling."
-Daniel Becker, Director
Sierra Club's Global Warming/Energy Program
"My research has led me to conclude
that it [AAA] has fought virtually every proposal that would
lead to cleaner air and a healthier environment...I'm sure
that would come as a surprise to its millions of members."
-Michael A. Rivlin, Independent Journalist
here to see AAA's press release
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