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Sierra Club Florida

Tell your senator: Pass a clean transportation bill -- no Keystone, no coal ash!

Big Oil, Big Coal, and their Congressional allies are doing everything they can to load up the transportation bill with toxic environmental riders on Keystone XL, coal ash, and gutting our nation's environmental review process. It's up to us to stop them.

Click here for more information.

Clean Cars for Florida


Florida's Electric Vehicle Revolution
by Britten Cleveland

Despite popular belief, Florida can be leader in something good.
The electric vehicle industry is growing quickly across the country and Florida has emerged as a front-runner in electric vehicle adoption and readiness. Chargepoint America, a grant program made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by the Department of Energy, is aiming to accelerate the development and production of electric vehicles to substantially reduce petroleum consumption, reduce greenhouse gas production, and create jobs.

Tampa/Orlando was selected as one of 10 regions to receive funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Tampa/St. Petersburg currently has over 200 charging stations in operation; most of which are available free of charge.

Automobiles, above all else, represent America’s addiction to dirty oil – especially here in Florida. We are far behind most other populous states when it comes to green transportation alternatives, like inter-city mass transit, commuter rail, and safe walking/bicycle paths. Plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), which require no gasoline and emit no pollution from their tailpipes, present a critical opportunity to cut pollution and clean up our air.

The Florida Healthy Air Campaign is kicking into high gear to make sure that the electric vehicle revolution endures and we are taking every opportunity to educate our communities about the ease and convenience of owning an electric vehicle. Around the state, Sierra Club members and supporters are hosting numerous house parties to show “Revenge of the Electric Car,” a riveting documentary that details the resurgence of the electric car through the eyes of four pioneers. At several of the house parties, electric vehicles have been on hand before and after the film for sit-ins and test drives. That is the trailer for the film "Revenge of the Electric Car" at the top.

A fully electric vehicle uses electricity to power a battery –typically one made of lithium ion. No gasoline, no dirty oil changes, no internal combustion engine. Most new fully electric vehicles can drive 70-130 miles on one charge. An extended range electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle run on electricity for a certain number of miles, and as their battery runs out of juice, a gasoline powered engine or generator kicks in.

Our very own Florida Staff Director, Frank Jackalone, decided to trade in his gas-guzzling ’97 Volvo for a new Chevy Volt, an extended range plug-in electric vehicle.

During his daily commute, the Volt has used an average of 1 mile of battery charge for every 5 miles driven. That's just 0.2 KWH of electricity to drive each mile, and at 13 cents a KWH he's paying just $2.60 for electricity to power the car 100 miles. Frank just plugs the car into to a normal 110V outlet in his garage every night.

The Volt has a driving efficiency feature that shows how you are doing while driving, and Frank says that it has motivated him to improve his driving style to extend how far the Volt goes on the battery without kicking over to the gasoline powered generator.

The electric vehicle revolution is here and now. Welcome, Florida, to the 21st century!

New Data: President Obama's Fuel Efficiency Standards will save Floridians $4.2 billion at the Gas Pump.

New fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks will save the average Florida family $371 at the gas pump in 2030, according to a new analysis (Here) released by the Sierra Club. The analysis, from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council, also finds that the Obama administration’s proposed fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for cars and light trucks will save Floridians $4.2 billion overall, cut the state’s oil use by 2.1 billion gallons and reduce carbon pollution by 24 million metric tons in 2030 -- equivalent to avoiding the carbon pollution of 6 coal-fired power plants in that year.

“Cars and trucks that use less gas are a win-win for Florida’s economy and our environment,” said Jonathan Ullman, Sierra Club South Florida/Everglades Organizing Representative “The Obama administration’s new fuel efficiency standards ensure 15 years of continuous progress to help save Floridians money at the gas pump, create jobs, curb life-threatening pollution, and help move our country beyond oil.”

President Obama announced his outline for the new model year 2017-2025 standards in 2011, which will ensure that new cars and light trucks average 54.5 mpg and reduce tailpipe carbon emissions to 163 grams per mile by 2025. Due to outdated testing methods, the 54.5 mpg standard will mean consumers in 2025 can expect new vehicles to average approximately 40 mpg on road.

Nationwide, the UCS/NRDC analysis projected that these standards will save Americans $44 billion by 2030, cut oil use by 23 billion gallons, and cut carbon pollution by 280 million metric tons—making this the biggest single step this country has ever taken to move beyond oil and tackle climate disruption. The outline was applauded by the majority of automakers and the United Auto Workers, as well as numerous environmental and consumer groups.

To find out how you can help Sierra's Campaign, contact Jon Ullman,
Jon Ullman is the Everglades Senior Field Organizer for the Sierra Club in South Florida.

Go60mpg Campaign Launched in Florida

Sierra Club is launching the Go60mpg campaign to call on President Obama to strengthen fuel efficiency and auto pollution standards so America can drive away from the high cost of oil dependence. The goal is to raise fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks to 60 miles per gallon by 2025.

To break our dependence on oil, reduce pollution and save money at the pump, we need strong public support for aggressive fuel standards for new cars and light trucks. We need volunteers statewide to help build grassroots support in Florida. Rather than feeling helpless about high gas prices, we can be proactive in reducing our dependence on oil and lowering gas prices.

Environment America released a timely report last year, “Summer Gas Prices: Beating the Heat with Clean Cars.” The summer travel season is the most popular time of the year for driving, but it is also the time when Americans feel the most economic pain at the pump. Due to Florida’s large travel volume and high gas prices, the Sunshine State would see a savings of over $4 billion dollars at the gas pump if our cars met a 60 miles per gallon standard. The average Florida household would save $469 over the summer months.

This campaign is a joint effort of Sierra Club, Environment America, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Safe Climate Campaign and Union of Concerned Scientists. Sierra Club Senior Field Organizer Jonathan Ullman in Miami and Sierra Club Conservation Organizer Marti Daltry in Ft. Myers are leading the state campaign to engage volunteers and activists throughout the state.

Your First Step: Go to the website and Tell President Obama to make 60 mpg the standard for new vehicles by 2025.

Then, read more on the website about reasons, strategy, and opportunity for this campaign to succeed. Also read info at: Sierra Club Compass 1 and Sierra Club Compass 2

Get Involved! Send an email to or call 305-860-9888.

Florida Needs Green Transportation

Cleaner cars mean cleaner air, better choices and more cash in your wallet. Florida is now poised to join much of the country in shifting to cleaner cars that will emit much less global warming pollution. This would lead to vehicles that use less gas, get better mileage, and make Florida greener.

Adoption of Florida ’s Clean Car rule for new motor vehicles sold in Florida is vital to the state’s efforts to resolve many energy, environmental, and health issues, and to position Florida as a leader in combating climate change, including the following:

Energy: More stringent emissions standards will lower gas consumption and promote energy independence. The Clean Car Rule could lead to a reduction in gasoline use in Florida of as much as 1.6 billion gallons annually in 2020. In addition to saving energy, it will also help in the form of savings at the gas pump due to decreased demand.

Greenhouse gases: Florida ’s Rules follow California’s and will significantly lower carbon emissions. With its low-lying coastal lands, environmentally important estuaries, economically important beaches, and sensitive water supplies, global warming presents Florida with more to lose than any other state. It’s important that our state act quickly and strongly to control greenhouse gases. Since 43% of Florida ’s carbon dioxide emissions come from the transportation sector—two-thirds of which come from motor vehicles alone— Florida cannot achieve its goals for greenhouse gas reductions without reducing these emissions.

Ground-level ozone: California ’s standards for motor vehicle emissions include lower levels of smog-forming pollutants. At present, Florida has ten counties that are noncompliant with the Clean Air Act levels for ground level ozone, which causes or aggravates a number of human health conditions and slows plant growth. Nitrogen oxides also enter surface waters with rain, adding to their nutrient loads, and degrading water quality.

For more information on the Clean Car Campaign, visit:
Sierra Club Clean Car Campaign


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