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 November." 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)