HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- After a huge public outcry against attempts by the leadership of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to kill the Clean Vehicles Program, which led to the legislature failing to consider Senate Bill 1025 (SB1025), Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) today urged legislators to take a public pledge to oppose any consideration of this bad bill during the Lame Duck session after the elections next month. "In every caucus, House members, responding to public pressure, stood up to oppose consideration of SB1025," said John Hanger, president and CEO of PennFuture. "They were faced with an out-of-state, well financed special interest lobbying campaign. But the majority of House members recognized that their duty was to the public, and defended the clean cars program, which will help protect Pennsylvania seniors and children from air pollution that sickens and kills. "Yet even though the Clean Vehicles Program will move forward, there is still a risk that the insider lobbyists will once again attempt to revive SB1025 during the Lame Duck session after the election, believing that House members will be insulated from constituent pressure then. "But SB1025 is a very bad bill at any time," continued Hanger. "We urge every legislator who took action to prevent the consideration of this bill to now take a public pledge to keep the bill from being revived during the Lame Duck session." The Clean Vehicles Program will allow Pennsylvanians 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. The Clean Vehicles Program will also protect Pennsylvania jobs and industry, since federal law requires the Commonwealth to cut air pollution. The clean cars program cuts one-third of that pollution, avoiding stricter standards on many businesses. 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. SB1025, which passed the Senate in February, was then considered dead by most observers. But on October 17, SB1025 was raced through the House Transportation Committee, 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 abandon their plan," 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)