PennFuture Praises House for Sending Dirty Air Bill Back to Committee

Dec 12, 2005, 00:00 ET from PennFuture

    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.

SOURCE PennFuture