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Z E V N O W U P D A T E November 15, 2000
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1 – CAR COMPANIES IGNORE ZEV MANDATE – GEAR UP TO FIGHT FINAL AIR BOARD
DECISION IN JANUARY
2 – WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR – DON’T LET CAR COMPANIES IGNORE THE LAW
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CAR COMPANIES IGNORE ZEV MANDATE –
ENVIORONMENTAL GROUPS AND CAR COMPANIES GET READY FOR FINAL SHOWDOWN AT
JANUARY AIR BOARD MEETING

September’s decision by the Air Resources Board (ARB) to maintain the ZEV Program was a major victory for California’s environment and the health of its citizens. But the fight isn’t over yet. The final decision on whether to keep the mandate as is, or allow the auto-manufacturers more time to delay, will be made in January.

In spite of strong statements of support for the program by Air Board members in September, there has been intense lobbying since then by the car companies to get the ZEV program weakened or delayed. And that’s not all. Car companies have also nearly stopped the marketing and production of electric vehicles altogether.

A recent article in the LA Times detailed the new auto industry “line” regarding ARB’s recent decision. Major car manufacturer’s including Honda, General Motors, Ford and Toyota all said they would PROBABLY FAIL TO MEET the current ZEV program’s requirement that 4 percent of their fleets be zero-emission vehicles by 2003. By not meeting the ZEV requirements and paying the $2 million dollar fine, these companies believe they would actually pay less than they would to fully comply with the program.

Don Walker, West Coast spokesman for General Motors Corp. even went so far as to say, “We have not announced any products (that would meet the mandate),” adding that it is unlikely there will be any new production of the company’s popular EV1. Jeff Kuhlman, GM’s technology division spokesman said, “We are looking at various product alternatives and would like to move
forward. But we are not going to do so until we understand what the final rules will be.”

Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, October 18, 2000
“Electric Cars Will Get the Green Light”
www.latimes.com/cgi-bin/print.cgi

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WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: DON’T LET CAR COMPANIES GET AWAY WITH IGNORING
THE ZEV PROGRAM

Most corporations have policies of not operating in violation of the law, and these particular auto-manufacturers submitted compliance plans to the ARB staff this past summer. We can’t allow these companies to ignore the law and the will of Californians!

Please take a few minutes to write a letter to the editor supporting the current ZEV program requirements and strongly opposing this latest tactic of the car companies to basically ignore the law by stopping production of clean vehicles. Following is a sample letter you can use to write your local paper as well as the contact information for the major California papers:

First, I’d like to applaud the Air Resources Board’s (ARB) recent decision to maintain California’s revolutionary Zero Emission Vehicle Program (ZEV). The ZEV Program has already had an enormously positive effect on California by encouraging the production of a new generation of non-polluting vehicles.

Unfortunately, auto manufacturers continue to drag their feet, refusing to adequately produce or market these vehicles. A recent LA Times article detailed the new auto industry “line” regarding ARB’s decision. The major car manufacturer’s including Honda, General Motors, Ford and Toyota all said they would PROBABLY FAIL TO MEET the current ZEV program’s requirement that 4 percent of their fleets be zero-emission vehicles by 2003.

Don Walker, West Coast spokesman for General Motors Corp. even went so far as to say, “We have not announced any products (that would meet the mandate),” adding that it is unlikely there will be any new production of the company’s popular EV1.

Such blatant disregard for California law and the will of the people is a disservice to our environment and our health. The auto industry fought against mandatory seat belts and air bags and now they are fighting against Californians’ right to a clean air future.

By putting electric, hybrid-electric and fuel cell vehicles on the road we will cut our dependence on oil, prevent air and water pollution, and save consumers billions at the gas pump. We can’t allow the auto industry to circumvent the will of the people and the rule of law!

San Francisco Chronicle chronletters@sfgate.com
415-543-7708

San Francisco Examiner letters@examiner.com
415-512-1264

The Oakland Tribune pstinnett@angnewspapers.com

The Sacramento Bee opinion@sacbee.com
916-321-1996

San Jose Mercury News jswartley@sjmercury.com
408-271-3792

Los Angeles Times mary.cox@latimes.com
213-237-5319

The San Diego Union Tribune letters@uniontrib.com
619-293-1440

As January’s deadline approaches we’ll begin another all out effort to ensure the ZEV Program remains strong. In the meantime, please write those letters and periodically check out our website at www.zevnow.org for more information. We will keep you informed so that you can continue to participate in the fight for a pollution free future. Thank you!

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