PennFuture Praises Citizen Outcry Leading to Pennsylvania House Deciding Not to Act on Clean Vehicles Program

Plan to Protect Pennsylvania Seniors and Children from Pollution that

Sickens and Kills Will Go Forward

Oct 25, 2006, 01:00 ET from Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Citizens for Pennsylvania's
 Future (PennFuture) praised citizens and editorial writers across the state
 for their vocal opposition to proposed legislation to kill the Clean
 Vehicles Program, which resulted in the Pennsylvania House of
 Representatives deciding not to consider this legislation. This decision
 means that the clean cars program, which would help protect Pennsylvania
 seniors and children from air pollution that sickens and kills, will move
 forward. The failure to consider Senate Bill 1025, a bill to kill the Clean
 Vehicles Program, allows Pennsylvanians to have easy access to the cleanest
 and most fuel-efficient cars, cutting gasoline use and our reliance on
 foreign oil.
     "It's clear that there were not enough votes to pass this bad bill,"
 said John Hanger, president and CEO of PennFuture, "so the proponents kept
 it off the floor rather than risk losing. The citizens of Pennsylvania won
 tonight against some very powerful out-of-state special interests, drawing
 a line in the sand for the right of every Pennsylvanian to breathe clean
 air. This is a victory for public health, national security, the economy
 and the environment.
     "Pennsylvanians will finally be able to purchase the most
 technologically advanced, fuel-efficient and cleanest cars, striking a blow
 against our addiction to foreign oil from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and
 Venezuela," continued Hanger. "Saving the Clean Vehicles Program also saves
 Pennsylvania jobs and industry, since federal law requires that we cut air
 pollution, and the clean cars program cuts one-third of that pollution,
 avoiding stricter standards on many businesses."
     Senate Bill 1025, which passed the Senate in February, was considered
 dead by most observers. The Clean Vehicles Program regulations requiring
 cars sold in the Commonwealth to meet more protective pollution standards
 beginning with the 2008 model year were passed by a 16-2 vote of the
 Environmental Quality Board on September 19, following public comments of
 nearly 5,000 citizens in favor of the new rule and an extensive public
 involvement process. However, SB 1025 was raced through the House
 Transportation Committee on October 17, after a full-page ad paid for by
 out-of-state special interests appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, and
 less than 24 hours after the committee leadership suddenly announced the
 consideration of the bill. House leadership then put the bill on a fast
 track, to be considered on the last voting day of the House session before
 the election break.
     "Unfortunately, we know that the out-of-state special interests that
 pushed to kill the clean cars program are unlikely to slink off with their
 tails between their legs, but will try once again to overturn the wishes of
 the citizens," said Hanger, "We urge the legislative leadership to stand
 strong for all Pennsylvanians. Don't let this bad bill return from the
 grave like a vampire during the legislature's lame duck session in late
     The Clean Vehicles Program standards were developed by the state of
 California, and are the only option besides the weak standards of the
 federal government. Once the clean cars program is fully implemented,
 Pennsylvania will join Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont,
 Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington and California in
 opting for the clean cars program.

SOURCE Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)