Plug-in electric vehicle supporter,
State regulators tried to kill the electric car again, slashing by 70 percent last month the number of EVs automakers must sell in the coming years. But Plug In America won key victories in our California Air Resources Board (CARB) campaign and we've already broadened our reach by calling on legislators and other governmental agencies to take over the charge of a pollution-free future.
PIA made the call to state legislators immediately after CARB voted to gut its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program in Sacramento on March 27. We'll continue our efforts to influence CARB, which also voted to overhaul the program. But, among other things, we are recommending that lawmakers pass laws requiring public and private fleets to buy EVs, and that they promote EVs and plug-in hybrids by creating a Battery Electric Vehicle Partnership, much like the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership.
Meanwhile, thanks in large part to supporters like you, we have much to celebrate. CARB heard PIA's demand for full transparency in reporting how automakers meet its regulations and rejected its staff's call for an even more massive reduction in the number of ZEVs required of automakers. Our campaign motivated consumers from all 50 U.S. states and 20 countries to contact CARB and Gov. Schwarzenegger, letting them know that demand for clean cars stretches from coast to coast and as far away as Singapore.
Furthermore, a large crowd, including more than a dozen EV drivers with their clean machines cheered during PIA's Sacramento pre-vote press conference and rally. These events and PIA's stance on CARB's vote were covered by the Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International and other media, which carried our message around the world. (photos and videos of the event can be seen here, here and here)
"We are gaining a reputation as a force to be reckoned with, and that can't help but improve our access and abilities with regulators, the Legislature and others," says PIA board member Mike Kane. "This was a tough high-wire act to pull off, keeping up enough pressure to be taken seriously, while maintaining a level of professionalism expected from a mainstream organization."
In the coming weeks, PIA will be honing our new legislative effort. We also plan to put renewed focus on our direct-to-automakers campaign for EVs. We'll let you know exactly how you can help as we finalize these plans.
Until then, we must leverage the unprecedented profile that we-and you-have toiled so diligently to achieve. In fact, we continue to receive weekly media interview requests from as far away as Amsterdam and as close as Santa Monica. Please help us to build upon this effort by becoming a PIA member or making a tax-deductible donation today. Your membership distinguishes you as a pioneer and early adopter in the inevitable reality of a zero-emission future. It makes the work we do possible and powerful.
For more details on the CARB vote and PIA's call to legislators, please read the press releases on our website. Click on our podcast page to hear PIA co-founder Paul Scott's assessment of the vote. This podcast was produced by our Podcast Master, Joseph Puentes, and our new "Pod Broad" interviewer, Kate Baker. We send a big thank you to both!
A Multi-Talented Crew
An unexpected human interest story involving PIA board member Alexandra Paul unfolded during our Sacramento press conference and rally. Here's how the Sacramento Bee described it:
What do electric cars, identical twins and "Baywatch" have in common?
Besides, of course, an environmentally friendly beer commercial and the following situation.
A few weeks ago, a group of electric car enthusiasts was holding a protest outside the state Environmental Protection Agency offices. Sac PD was on hand to make sure everything went smoothly, says spokesman Matt Young, and one of the protesters collapsed in a where's-David-Hasselhoff moment.
An officer had just begun CPR when two striking, identical twins stepped in to help. They were EMTs, they explained, and would be happy to take over. One of them was Alexandra Paul.
Don't recognize the name right away? Think back. She played Lt. Stephanie Holden in the glory days of "Baywatch." She was the smart chick. You know the brunette. And reportedly one of only two actresses on the show in possession of their original, um, flotation devices.
These days, Paul and her firefighter sister, Caroline, are noted electric car activists and, apparently, sometime saviors of dudes in distress. Thanks to them, the man recovered, the protest continued, and Paul left the scene, in our TV-inspired imaginations, in a red swimsuit, running in slow motion.
And here's the story behind the story:
Needless to say, all of us who'd been in Sacramento continued to wonder about the health of the elderly but committed man who had collapsed at our event. PIA Legislative Director Jay Friedland found out.
It happened the other day while Jay was talking with his friend Gene Banman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles (a terrific electric motorcycle manufacturer). Gene was telling Jay about how his dad, Alvin Banman, had fainted while attending a protest in Sacramento. Gene was in Mexico at the time, he told Jay, his brother was in Australia, and his stepmom was in Los Angeles, so no family members were around it happened.
Said Jay, wide eyed: "Wait a second. What kind of protest was it?"
"Oh my dad is really into electric cars," Gene replied.
Of course, Jay told him that he only wished he had known, since Jay himself was there! He told Gene the whole story and Gene passed the info on to his dad, who asked Jay to thank Alexandra and Caroline. Alvin also wants everyone who saw him faint, whether at the rally or on a video of the event, to know that he's just fine. Turns out he had just fainted from too much heat, lack of his regular breakfast, and no hat.
Alvin is just disappointed about one thing: that he didn't know he was saved by our two spectacular Plug In America activist twins.
Plug In America
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