HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Citizens for Pennsylvania's
Future (PennFuture) today praised the members of the Pennsylvania House of
Representatives for sending HB2141, a bill that would repeal Pennsylvania's
Clean Vehicles Program, back to the Environmental Resources and Energy
Committee for deliberation and hearings. The bill would overturn this fall's
unanimous Environmental Quality Board (EQB) vote to allow the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) to move forward with regulations requiring cars
sold in the Commonwealth to meet more protective pollution standards beginning
with the 2008 model year. The regulations were first proposed by the DEP under
then Governor Tom Ridge, but were delayed.
The committee assigned control of the clean car program repeal by today's
House action is chaired by Representatives William F. Adolph, Jr. (R-Delaware)
and Camille "Bud" George, (D-Clearfield), both of whom voted for the program
in their capacity as members of the Environmental Quality Board.
"We are truly pleased that the members of the House refused to be
railroaded into passing bad legislation," said Jan Jarrett, vice president of
PennFuture. "The proposed cleaner car standard passed by the EQB will mean
cleaner air, which is desperately needed by the one million Pennsylvanians
with respiratory problems -- most of them children or the elderly. With less
pollution being released, we should see fewer asthma attacks, other breathing
problems and cardiac problems, all of which are exacerbated by pollution from
cars and trucks. And putting cleaner cars on the road will reduce our demand
for gasoline, which will lead to price cuts, meaning more money in the bank
for all Pennsylvanians."
"It isn't just the families of Pennsylvania that were put at risk by
HB2141, the bill attacking clean car rules," continued Jarrett. "Businesses
and industries across the Commonwealth were also on the chopping block.
Without a cleaner car rule, air pollution will continue to grow, and existing
and new businesses and industries will be required to clean up more and more
to help Pennsylvania to meet federal clean air standards. Clearly, the
legislators got the message about this job-killing bill and decided that
cooler heads needed to prevail.
"The members of the House recognized what a really bad idea this dirty air
bill is and did the right thing today," concluded Jarrett. "This is a big win
for public health and Pennsylvania's environment and economy. Once this bill
is seriously studied, we are confident that the legislators will support the
clean car program."
The clean cars program unanimously approved by the EQB requires automakers
to reach an average pollution standard for vehicles offered for sale in
Pennsylvania. In other words, automakers must ensure that sales of vehicles
that emit more pollution are balanced out by sales of those that emit much
less pollution. For new car sales beginning with the 2008 model year, only
those vehicles certified by the California Air Resources Board could be sold
and registered in Pennsylvania. The list of cars certified and available for
sale this year includes American made and foreign SUVs, luxury sedans and
compacts. And vehicles sold in New York, which already has a similar clean car
program, are exactly the same average price as those currently sold in
In 1998 during the Ridge Administration, Pennsylvania adopted the
California car program in order to be able to participate in the National Low
Emission Vehicle (NLEV) Program. Under the terms of the NLEV program, which
expires in 2006, the state was supposed to fully implement the program
starting with model year 2006 -- this year. However, changes to the clean car
program and other considerations made it necessary for Pennsylvania to move
implementation back to the 2008 model year. In addition to New York and
California, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and
Rhode Island already have similar clean car programs.