[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Student Government Opposes University of Michigan Diesel BusPurchases & Supports Clean Car Campaign

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from Jeff Gearhart -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Student Government Opposes University of Michigan Diesel Bus Purchases & Supports Clean Car Campaign

For Immediate Release- March 8, 2000

For More Information Contact: Jeff Gearhart, Ecology Center (734)663-2400 x117

On March 7, the University of Michigan student government, the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA), passed a resolution in support of the Clean Car Campaign and against the University's purchase of any additional diesel buses. The MSA resolution also challenged automakers to produce vehicles which meet the Clean Car Standard which has been established by the Clean Car Campaign. MSA undertook the resolution in support of the Clean Car Campaign, a coalition of organizations dedicated to an environmental transformation of the auto industry through better fuel efficiency, reduced tailpipe emissions, and cleaner manufacturing.

The University is currently planning to replace 36 diesel buses within the next five years. According to Clean Car Campaign calculations emissions reductions of 50% for particulate matter, 67% nitrous oxides (NOX) and hydrocarbons, and 10 % for carbon dioxide, could be achieved if the 36 buses are replaced by natural gas burning buses in stead of diesel. Similar reductions could be achieved if the diesel buses were replaced by non-diesel, fuel efficient, low emission hybrid-electrics or fuel-cells.

Health concerns were a major consideration in the passage of the resolution. Dozens of studies have shown compelling evidence that diesel exhaust causes cancer. Fine particulants from diesel can aggravate a variety of respiratory illnesses and are associated with premature deaths from cardi-pulmonary disorders. Diesel exhaust contains 40 different chemical compounds which have been listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as toxic air contaminates, probable human carcinogens, and reproductive toxins.

The resolution also cites the "Sustainable University of Michigan" agenda, which was proposed last year, and recommends that the University buses should be run on alternative fuels. In addition to asking the University to discontinue its plans to purchase any new diesel buses, the resolution encourages the University to review all available non-diesel bus technologies, including hybrid-electrics and fuel cells. The resolution passed by a margin of twenty-nine to two, with one abstention. MSA is the first university student government in Michigan to take a stand on the diesel bus issue.


Resolution in Opposition to University of Michigan Diesel Bus purchases
& in Support of Clean Car Campaign

WHEREAS the University of Michigan is currently planning to replace 36 diesel buses over the next five years; and

WHEREAS diesel exhaust contains over 450 different chemical components, 40 of which have been listed by California and the U.S. EPA as toxic air contaminants, probable human carcinogens, known human carcinogens, reproductive toxins or endocrine disruptors; and

WHEREAS the "Sustainable University of Michigan" Agenda supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the earth is currently experiencing an increase in global average temperature that can be attributed to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases such as those emitted by gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles; and

WHEREAS the "Sustainable University of Michigan" Agenda recommends that University busses should be operated on alternative fuels in order to reduce air emissions and resource consumption; and

WHEREAS the production, use, and disposal of motor vehicles are responsible for enormous impacts on the environment, human health and quality of life in Michigan, and a transformation of the motor vehicle industry to produce products many times cleaner than they are today is now needed,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Michigan Student Assembly supports the goals of the Clean Car Campaign, a campaign which challenges vehicle manufacturers to produce vehicles in the near-term that meet the Clean Car Standard, using the following criteria:

* Fuel Efficiency, 1.5 times the fleet average for that vehicle's class
* Tailpipe Emissions, meeting California's stringent tailpipe emissions standards (SULEV)
* Clean Manufacturing, that includes best-in-class painting/coating, elimination of substances of concern, and design for recyclability & recycled content;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University of Michigan should commit to a full review of all available non-diesel bus technologies; including alternative fueled vehicles, hybrid electrics and fuel cells;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University of Michigan should commit to purchasing no additional diesel buses.

Michigan Student Assembly
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
March 7, 2000

Jeff Gearhart
Campaign Director
Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734)663-2414 fx.

============================================================== ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/
Postings to: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net For info, send email to majordomo@great-lakes.net with a one-line message body of "info enviro-mich" ==============================================================