Better World Club

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We Win!

Uh, Of Course We Mean: America Wins! And the Environment Wins as President Obama Implements California's Auto Emissions' Standards Nationwide

BWC Has Been Working for Six Years to Get These Regs Approved State-by-State. Now with a Wave of a Pen They're Going to be Applied Nationwide.

OK, We'll Share the Credit...

President Obama has dramatically changed the rules for auto emissions standards, and put an end to seven years of debate.

On May 19, Obama unveiled new nationwide standards to regulate fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and light trucks. Present at the announcement were the nation's ten largest automakers, the UAW, and leading environmental groups.

Starting in 2012, fuel efficiency will be increased by more than 5% each year. In 2016, cars will be required to achieve 39 mpg and light trucks will be required to achieve 30 mpg (as compared to the 27.5 mpg and 24 mpg required today).

After years of lawsuits, threats, petitions, and tens of millions of dollars spent in legal fees, President Obama has finally put this issue to rest.

Now, we don't want to say that President Obama stole BWC's thunder on this issue, but let's be honest: he totally did. On occasions far too numerous to count (okay, ten times), BWC put the word out, organizing and encouraging members to lobby their representatives and the EPA on this very issue.

And then, out of nowhere, President "Johnny-Come-Lately" Obama decides to apply the standards nationwide! Who knew he was even paying attention to this issue? We're not saying that he stole the idea from us, but 'Kicking Asphalt' does have a subscriber with the email address "". Very suspicious.

Still, politics is about sharing credit, so we'll be big about it. Welcome aboard, Mr. President. Now, we think we can help you out on this cap-and-trade thing. How about giving us a call at 866-238-1137...

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Delay Processing Gas Rebate Coupons

We're Sorry About the Delay, but Think of How Much More Excited You'll Be When You Finally Receive Them!

On November 1st, 2008 the vendor that originally provided us with the gas rebate benefit went out of business. Since that date, all submissions received by that vendor have been forwarded to our customer service office for processing in-house. We receive the forwarded rebates about once a month and are sending out checks as quickly as possible. However, our designated check writer (she drew the short straw) is doing a job that once took an entire company to do. The process has been a slow one, but all valid submissions will be honored.

We appreciate your patience and hope to be fully caught up by the time summer arrives.

Because of the popularity of the program, we have decided not to discontinue it entirely. Premium members are still eligible to participate in the gas rebate program. Please check your renewal documents for details.

Questions? Click here to contact us.

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Should AAA be Given Special Privileges to Offer License and Registration Renewal Services?

Let Us Know Your Opinion

Should the Commonwealth of Massachusetts grant AAA a Halliburton-style sweetheart deal to offer auto license and registration renewal services without any sort of competitive bidding process?

Gov. Deval Patrick says Yes: The Democratic governor has announced a state partnership with AAA to offer license and registration renewal services to AAA members. Currently the six month pilot plan is limited to 2 AAA locations in Newton and Worcester, but AAA is encouraging its 2.3 million Mass members to lobby their representatives to expand the program to its other 25 MA offices.

Labor says No: "We have two basic questions for the Inspector General that the RMV will not answer. First, where does the law allow a political appointee simply to hand public jobs to a private company? Second, show us the evidence that taxpayers benefit from this act," asked David Holway, president of the National Association of Government Employees.

Governor Patrick's fiscal 2010 budget includes language authorizing the Registrar to enter into such contracts "only with an existing entity that provides automobile-related services to the general public, or to its own members if an automobile-related association, and that maintains business offices that are open to the public during hours and at locations believed to be convenient for registry customers and in areas where a continuing need exists to provide registry services."

Citing this language, Holway cautioned against a "deal" intended to steer registry functions to AAA, noting that AAA's board includes a number of politically connected individuals.

Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents President Frank Mancini says No: "This activity is not something the state should be outsourcing to a third party." The concern is that the budget provision is worded in such a way that it could only apply to AAA, and thereby give it an unfair advantage over the roughly 1700 other Massachusetts insurance agents., the website for the MAIA, offers a link to send emails to Beacon Hill leadership voicing opposition to the expansion of the plan. Dan Foley at expects to know a bit more by July 1st when the new budget is due.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives says "No", striking the AAA/RMV provision from the 2010 budget.

However, the MA Senate left the provision in, so now its fate is to be decided in committee, where it could be kept as is, struck entirely, or rewritten as a compromise.

What do you think? Would removing AAA members from registry lines make it easier to register your vehicle?

Or, do you think it's unfair to single out one company to provide these services. No one asked Better World Club if we would like to register drivers. Does this give AAA an unfair advantage when it comes to auto club memberships? Auto insurance sales?

Email us to let us know. We'll report the results.

And Massachusetts readers should let their legislators know. It's easy. Senators Steven Panagiotakos (D-Lowell), Michael Knapik (R-Westfield) and Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) can be reached through House members Charlie Murphy (D-Burlington), Barbara L'Italien (D-Andover) and Vincent Pedone (D-Watertown) can be reached through

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