Bluestem Action Alert

April 6, 2008


An important vote is coming up on Illinois’ Clean Car Act - HB 3424

Every vote is critical.


Please call your state representative and tell him/her to add his/her name as a cosponsor for HB 3424, the Illinois Clean Car Act.  This bill will be voted by April 18 and has a good chance of passing, but every vote is critical.  Please call today.  This is a state, not a federal bill.  Do not call your Congressman, but your state representative.


If your state representative is Bob Biggins or Michael Fortner, please call them and thank them for being cosponsors.  Thank you calls are important because paid auto industry lobbyists call them every day trying to get them to change their minds.  They need to hear that their constituents appreciate their support for this bill. Other cosponsors, the text and progress of the bill can be seen at


The Clean Car Act, HB 3424, will protect public health and curb global warming by requiring automakers to put cleaner technology into new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in Illinois to reduce tailpipe pollution.


Under the federal Clean Air Act, states have the authority to set more stringent automobile standards than those mandated by the federal government.  Thirteen other states, CA, OR, WA, NY, MA, VT, ME, RI, MD, CT, NJ, and PA have used this authority to adopt stronger standards, known as the low emission vehicle standard (LEV II) or California standard.


The result is that clean burning, low pollution cars are sent to the West Coast and the East Coast, but dirty, high-pollution cars are sent to Illinois and the rest of the country.  Whether you drive a tiny Ford Focus or a huge SUV, a cleaner, less polluting version exists and is being sent to states that require the LEV II standard.


Passing a clean car standard in Illinois will have enormous health benefits for us and reduce global warming. The pollutants reduced include nitrous oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons, which combine with sunlight to cause smog.  Smog damages lung tissue, aggravates respiratory disease and makes people susceptible to respiratory infections.


 It will reduce particulate matter which is linked to asthma. It will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), a major cause of global warming.


Clean car standards are cost effective and will actually save drivers money at the pump because these standards will be met, in part, by raising the miles per gallon.


Illinois auto dealers are protected because the act allows the Secretary of State to require new vehicles purchased out of state to meet the new standard before being licensed.  The new standard does not apply to vehicles sold before 2011 model year.


For a more detailed analysis of HB 3424 and to see the Illinois Sierra Club’s other priority bill this session (subject of future action alerts), visit the Illinois Sierra Club website at Click on “Legislative” in the green band at the left. 


Please call your Illinois representative today. Leave your name, address and telephone number with your representative’s secretary so they know you are a constituent.  Remember, we are asking them to cosponsor the bill.  This is a higher level of support than simply agreeing to vote for it.


You can reach the General Assembly switchboard at 217-782-2000 and ask for your representative. 


 Find out your current state representative and his/her local contact information on the Illinois General Assembly website at  Look at the bottom right under “Additional Resources;” click on Legislator Look Up.


With your help, we can pass this bill. Thank you so much for making your call!


Linda Sullivan and Julia Nephew

Bluestem Action Alert Network Co-chairs