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AAA Facts

Are you aware of the environmental policy positions taken by the nation's leading emergency road service provider, AAA?

Interesting Facts  |  Articles about AAA  | Kicking Asphalt Archives 

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AAA Facts

Driving is a reality in this country, and all auto clubs support the use and enjoyment of vehicle ownership. But, we think it is rather "interesting" that AAA:

Has denied that automobiles cause air pollution...
(Source: AAA: Automobiles not Responsible for Pollution: Cleaning the Air Study 1999)

As reported by the Environmental News Service in September, 1999: "'Federal regulators should refocus efforts to cut air pollution away from automobiles,' the motorists' advocacy group AAA said today." Clearing the Air - 1999, is the third such study performed by AAA.

Has, without informing their members of their policy efforts, weighed in on highway funding, suburban sprawl, mass transit, car design and safety, air pollution, and global warming.

(Source: The Amicus Journal: Winter 2001: Feature Story: The Secret Life of AAA)

Because, using its members as collateral, AAA, its local affiliates, and its partners work to influence national law and policy, and not to the good of the planet. Almost without exception, critics say, it advocates policies that damage the environment and endanger health.

"A lot of people belong to AAA because they think it's a nice place to get Triptiks and traveler's checks," says Daniel Becker, director of Sierra Club's global warming and energy program. "What they don't know is that AAA is a lobbyist for more roads, more pollution, and more gas guzzling."

Has been challenged by Environmentalists on many of their claims and conclusions.
Daniel Becker, director of the Sierra Club's global warming and energy program said in a statement: "It sounds like AAA has been breathing too much smog. A third of the nation's smog and 20 percent of the nation's global warming pollution spew out of America's tailpipes. With asthmatic children being hospitalized at an ever increasing rate, it is foolhardy and callous for AAA to imply that now is the time to let up on auto pollution."

The EPA did not challenge AAA's numbers, but a spokesman for the agency said the group's conclusions may be "shortsighted." The agency is committed to reducing emissions from all sources, according to EPA spokesman Dave Cohen. "This is not a contest," Cohen said. "Letting motor vehicles off the hook for their past performance is not a useful way of combating air pollution."

Actively Opposes Bicycle Lanes and fought against bicycle safety regulations for years...

February, 2014 | September 2013 | April 2012 | March 2011 | October 2010 | KA Archives

(AAA's position on ISTEA Legislation, 1991)
The bicycle community considers AAA to be anti-bicycle. Rails to Trails was astonished to find AAA opposing the conversion of certain rail right-of-ways to bicycle paths in the early 90s. But astonishment is too soft a word for the feelings of many bicycle advocates: "AAA has a vested interest (or so they think) in continuing the 'cars first' transportation policies that has guided our country for the past 50 years…Please write so AAA knows that there are members who want a balanced, environmentally-friendly, community-friendly transportation system," is the comment of one of many cyclists on just one bicycle mail serve website.

Has been called out by Car Talk!  Tom and Ray Magliozzi, co-hosts of the radio show "Car Talk," have accused the American Automobile Association's Foundation for Traffic Safety of issuing a misleading press release on the effects of cell phone use and driving safety.

"A press release that garnered extensive national media attention for its surprising results is based on flawed research and is a gross misrepresentation of reality," according to the Magliozzis. "It's time we made the roads safe once again. We'd like a retraction and an apology from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety."

Just because your battery dies, do you need to associate yourself with this policy agenda? We don't think so.

*AAA is a registered trademark of the American Automobile Association.

Articles about AAA

February 29, 2003
It's Not Easy to Knock AAA: Roadside Help With A smaller footprint  (that's us!!)
Grist.org |By Michelle Nijhuis

Better World Club AAA Watch: February 3, 2014
AAA Hates Bike Lanes: Hmm...Perhaps "Hate" is too strong...How about "AAA Feels Bullied By Bike Lanes"
By Noah Grunzweig

Better World Club AAA Watch:February 8, 2013
AAA Calls D.C.'s Moves to Update Zoning Regulations a "War on Cars".
by Noah Grunzweig

Politico: August 16, 2011
Big Oil Candidate Rick Perry Knows AAA...and We're Not Talking Credit Ratings Anymore
by Johnathan Martin

Front Porch Talk: Thursday May 6, 2010
AAA is not a friend of balanced transportation

Better World Club Blog: August 25, 2009
AAA South Finally Ends Discrimination Against LGBT Couples
by Gareth Makrill

Calitics.com: August 21, 2008
AAA Fights Tax Dollars Going to Climate Change Mitigation
by: Brian Leubitz

SierraClub.org: July/August Newsletter, 2007
AAA "Outed" by Better World Club
by Pat Miranda

New Jersey Policy Perspective: July, 2006
Mapping the Route to Dollars: AAA Mid-Atlantic's Four-State Tour
By Sarah Stecker

November, 2005, AAA Club South Won't Treat Partners as Spouses

Capital News Service: April 28, 2005
Tax Dollars Paid for AAA's Driving Law Lobby Poll
By Sarah Abruzzese

Harper's: May, 2002
Smitten with a Club / AAA Paves the Road to Hell
By Ken Silverstein

USA Today: April 23, 2002
AAA Faces a Fork in the Road
By Jayne O'Donnell

The Amicus Journal: Winter 2001
Feature Story -- The Secret Life of AAA
Along with the maps, the insurance, and the late-night tows, your friendly all-American auto club has a political agenda. And it's no good for the environment.  Press Release.
By Michael A. Rivlin

USA Today: September 30, 1999
AAA cars not to blame for major U.S. air pollution: Cars and light trucks are no longer the major source for smog and ozone pollution in most major US cities, according to a report released by the American Automobile Association (AAA) yesterday.

ENS: September 29, 1999
Don't Blame Cars for Smog, AAA Says
Federal regulators should refocus efforts to cut air pollution away from automobiles, the motorists’ advocacy group AAA said today.

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