PIRG’s Clean Air Now Campaign Tours the Nation With A Giant, Inflated
SUV, Calling for Clean Up Of Polluting and Gas Guzzling Sport Utility
- June 10 - This week, U.S. PIRG kicks off a 40 U.S. city tour of "The
Exterminator," a giant inflated SUV measuring 24 x 14 x 10 feet, and
bearing an important message: CLEAN AIR NOW!
At each stop on the tour, the prop will be met by
local and regional public health and environmental advocates for press
events on the critical issue of automobile air pollution. Air pollution
causes 40,000 premature deaths per year and tens of thousands of trips
to the emergency room. Automobiles are the source of one-third of
smog-forming air pollution; the popular and profitable Sport Utility
Vehicles pollute three times more than a car, and use 33 percent more
gasoline than a car due to loopholes in pollution and miles per gallon
On May 1, President Clinton announced proposed new regulations
that would require SUVs under 6,000 pounds to meet clean car standards
on the same schedule as cars, from 2004-2007. Under the proposed rule,
larger SUVs like the Ford Expedition would get a break and not have
to clean up until 2009.
Moreover, the largest and dirtiest SUVs of all, like
the new Ford Excursion, are not included in the rule because they
are over 8500 pounds and therefore not classified as "light trucks."
U.S. PIRG is calling upon EPA to strengthen the new rules before they
are finalized later this year, requiring all SUVs to meet clean car
standards by 2007.
U.S. miles-per-gallon standards also contain a loophole
allowing SUVs to use 33% more gasoline than cars. Prodded by the auto
and oil industries for the last four years, Congress has passed a
rider on the appropriations bills prohibiting the Administration from
changing fuel economy standards, known as CAFE (Corporate Average
Fuel Economy) standards. U.S. PIRG is calling on President Clinton
to veto any bills prohibiting improvements in the nation’s fuel economy
June 9, Philadelphia – Contact David Masur, PennPIRG
June 11, Atlanta – Contact Robert Pregulman, U.S.
June 15, Denver – Contact Nick Johnson, CoPIRG 303/573-7474
June 16, Chicago -- Contact Diane Brown, Illinois
PIRG 312/ 364-0096
June 17, Cleveland – Contact Amy Simpson, Ohio PIRG
U.S. PIRG is the national advocacy office for the state
Public Interest Research Groups. State PIRGs are environmental and consumer
watchdog organizations active across the nation.
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