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Graphic Element, Right Gutter

Administration Exempts Large
SUVs from New Fuel Economy Standards
Better World Club Fee Surcharge Is Safe

Proposed Bush Administration rules to require auto makers to increase fuel economy standards on pickups, minivans, and some sports utility vehicles will exempt the largest SUVs, such as the Hummer H2. (In a related story, the Bush Administration is raising adolescent physcial fitness standards but exempting the fattest kids. It is also raising the standards for corporate securities disclosure but exempting the most dishonest companies. More details to follow.)

Better World surcharges the gas guzzlers not to say “nah, nah, nah” or we’re “holier than thou” but for the same reasons that we offer carbon offsets: to encourage the owners of these vehicles to recognize the cost that they are imposing on the environment/society. Any amount raised from the surcharge (and we recognize, it’s not going to be much), goes to our environmental donation pool.

Better World believes that it is the only company in the nation that imposes surcharges not based on corporate costs but on social costs.

Like many environmental proposals emanating from the Administration, this one is aimed more at assisting industry than raising environmental standards. The original rules averaged out requirements in such a way that American companies believed their fleets were disadvantaged. The new rules average out fuel economy standards by type of vehicle, making it easier for American companies to comply. Overall, the new rules require little of the industry, however, with some environmentalists saying that the new rules raise the old standards by all of 1.8 miles per gallon from 2008 2011. The overall average for vehicles would be around 25 miles per gallon as opposed to the 40-mile average that the Sierra Club says is possible to reach over the same time period.