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
"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)