Plug In America's Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger
by Chelsea Sexton, Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:12:07 AM EDT
Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger,
President George Bush called on Americans this month to "get off oil" and start to drive electric vehicles. With gas nearing $4 a gallon, global warming threatening disaster, and our national security at risk, the president got it right.
Unfortunately, powerful California regulators are perilously close to killing the electric car all over again.
On March 27, the California Air Resources Board will revise their history-making program that put more than 5,000 highway-capable Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) on the road and reduced our output of carbon dioxide--the main global warming gas--by one million metric tons.
But new revisions by the Board's staff will profoundly weaken the program again instead of propelling our country toward a pollution-free future. This proposal would require each automaker to produce only about 150 ZEVs per year through 2015.
That's less than what consumers are demanding...
Under the Clean Air Act, California is the only state allowed to set tougher limits on vehicle emissions than federal regulators. Ten other states have adopted California's emission limits. The board's vote has national implications.
Consumers want cleaner cars. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, 80 percent of respondents said fuel efficiency would affect their next new car purchase.
Take Norma Williamson, a public high school teacher in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos. Norma and her husband Alan have been driving a fully electric Toyota RAV4 since 2002. They charge the car with electricity generated by their home's solar panels. They haven't purchased gas in six years. They live--and propel--the promise of a pollution-free future.
Gov. Schwarzenegger, you showed true leadership when you signed the nation's first global warming law. You showed true leadership with your vow to "turn back the clock on pollution" through your Million Solar Roofs Plan, an initiative that is the equivalent of taking one million gasoline cars off the road.
Now, how about putting one million electric cars on the road?
Please continue to lead our state by asking the California Air Resources Board to strengthen their staff proposal and get more electric cars on the road.
As you prepare to take delivery of your electric Tesla, we ask you to support a stronger Zero Emission Vehicle Program that will help us all turn back the clock on pollution.
We ask you to save the electric car.
Chelsea Sexton is the Executive Director of Plug In America and is known for her experience in the auto industry, most notably on the General Motors EV1 electric vehicle program. She continues to advocate for clean transportation and energy, leading in the creation of the Automotive X PRIZE in 2005, and founding her non-profit organization, Lightning Rod. Chelsea is one of the key individuals featured in the 2006 film, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" by Sony Pictures Classics, in the Sundance Channel Series, "Big Ideas for a Small Planet," and in several books dealing with alternative fuel transportation.
Plug In America is joined in this appeal to Governor Schwarzenegger by the following supporters:
Ed Begley, Jr., Actor
Warren S. Gifford, Ph.D. Executive Director (ret.) Bell Laboratories
Dr. and Mrs. Peter R. Greer, former Deputy Under Secretary of Education
Peter Horton, Director/Producer
Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, Chairman of Tesla Motors and SolarCity
Chris Paine, Director, "Who Killed the Electric Car?"
Bradley D. Turock, Director (ret). Bell Communications Research
Jon Wellinghoff, Commissioner, FERC
Jim Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence
Jerry Zucker, Director/Producer
As You Sow
Better World Club
Central Coast EAA
Desert Star, LLLP
Electric Auto Association
Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California
Energy Efficiency Solar
Lightning Rod Foundation
Northern Lights Foundation
Ocean Defenders Alliance
Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment
Rainforest Action Network
Ranch Air Transport Corporation
San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association
SBR Partners, LLC
Summit Green, Inc.
Sustainable Transport Club
Telecom Internet, Ltd.
Turock Family Foundation
3121 Property Management Corp.
Plug in America Press Conference and Rally
Date: Wednesday - March 26, 2008
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Where: California EPA Building
..........1001 I Street