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Public Citizen in the news: energy edition

clunker piles

Even though the Obama administration has not released any information on the sales of cars through the “cash-for-clunkers” program (or perhaps because of it), the Santa Monica-based auto information site Edmunds.com has begun keeping score of what cars are selling. While they include fuel-efficient vehicles like the Honda Civic and Ford Focus, they also include trucks like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. 

The Sacramento Bee reports that “the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, two of the most popular and fuel-efficient hybrids, are noticeably absent from the top-10 list of new cars purchased to replace turned-in clunkers.” Public Citizen’s Lena Pons had something to say about that:

It appears that despite some of these glowing (federal) reports we’ve seen on the environmental benefits of the program, a lot of light trucks and SUVs are being purchased through the program.

Yet we won’t know the full extent of any (if they event exist) environmental benefits of the program until the Obama administration starts releasing data. (On a side note: Have you ever wondered what happens to those “clunkers” once they’re traded in? Look no further.)

And then there’s the astroturf lobbying event our Texas team staked out earlier this week. On Tuesday, they drove down to Houston to crash the American Petroleum Institute’s “Energy Citizen” event. Billed as a “grassroots” rally against the cap-and-trade bill pending in Congress, Public Citizen Texas found this event to be nothing more than a company picnic.

Fortunately, the media is telling the public who is behind the events. Check out the Houston Chronicle, which noted our presence. Read our Andy Wilson’s take on the Huffington Post and our Sarah McDonald’s story on Grist and 1Sky.org.

In fact, if you’ve been invited to one of these rallies, here’s all the information you might need to debunk the myth of grassroots support they are trying to project. Keep checking TexasVox, our sister blog, for updates from their experience!

flickr photo by kodiax2