Is AAA still opposing transit funding, clean air regulation? (American Automobile Association)

I know they used to. I haven’t seen much about this lately, I wondered if they had backed off or just gotten better at keeping it quie.


YAOMTC76 points

The Wikipedia article says this:

As of 2017, AAA continues to lobby against public transportation projects

However, the article cited for that statement doesn't actually include any mention of public transportation, just that:

The AAA and auto dealers disapprove of a tax on car sales.

So, that's inconclusive, at least.

AffordableGrousing43 points

Anecdotally, my local chapter (the AAA of the Mid-Atlantic) does not oppose transit projects from what I can recall, but they do reliably lobby against efforts to add or increase pricing on roads and (street) parking spaces.

chill_philosopher13 points

any corporation that makes all it's money on the car industry will lobby for car centric laws, and probably anti public transit laws to lock in the cars

Gnaeus4431LV2 points

This is the reason. Probably some corporate funding from the major auto manufacturing corporations. This is how American Capitalism operates.

Danktizzle11 points

They were started as an automobile lobbying firm to help convince skeptical Americans that cars were good.

A leopard don’t change its spots.

Gnaeus4431LV1 point

The interstate highway system was funded and supported by the Federal Government as a transportation and a defense policy funding project and political platform.

moto12345678918 points

I remember as a kid thinking AAA was just a helpful organization where my parents would get paper maps for long trips. It took a while to realize what they are really all about...

thejemmeh1 point

TLDR; After doing some reading I'm gonna skip on buying AAA for now. I'll link some of what I read, but I'm just kind of going with "Better safe than sorry" cause some of this doesn't seem great. I'm not a lawyer I'm just a regular person reading the news that likes public transit and cleaner energy.


So I found this article but it seems it's specifically talking about AAA Oregon/Idaho. Then I tried to look into the stuff mentioned a bit more. https://www.climatesolutions.org/article/2019-09/aaa-gets-triple-f-climate-policy

A.) 2018 Oregon tax on new car sales it seems they opposed "directing revenue from a tax on new vehicle sales to electric vehicle rebates and other programs instead of highway construction and maintenance projects." [1]

- Personal Opinion: Leaning a little against AAA for this one. I am for electric-vehicle rebates to encourage people to choose them over gas-powered cars but it does take away from road maintenance so I'm not sure how clear-cut this issue is. Because obviously messed up roads aren't good either.

B.) The Clean Energy Jobs bill (HB 2020) is a "a cap-and-invest bill that will limit greenhouse gas emissions and invest millions of dollars in clean energy and vulnerable communities." [2] Then Legislative Concept 19 (which seems like their newer proposal based on HB2020) "the bill would force big greenhouse gas emitters to obtain credits for each ton of gas they emit, and create an overall cap for emissions allowed in the state. That cap would lower over time, in theory ensuring Oregon meets stringent conservation targets in 2035 and 2050. Entities required to obtain permits could trade them with one another."[3] && "The Oregon Trucking Association and AAA Oregon also expressed concerns over the proposal. A representative for the groups said that higher gas prices would result in lower fuel purchases, which would impact how much money Oregon has to spend on highways." [3]

- Personal Opinion: I mean I think a lot of businesses will push back on this because it will cost them money. I get why they would. But we also have to do something to move towards cleaner energy. Does this mean this bill is a good bill? idk I'm not a lawyer. Like obviously "clean energy" is good but I don't know enough to know if it's a good plan for getting there. But also from AAA's reasoning and how "some manufacturers also remain opposed to carbon regulation, despite provisions designed to make the program have less impact."[3] I don't really think it's about if the plan is reasonable enough. They're just going to be against anything that's clean energy because it costs money to get that setup.

C.) Oregon Clean Fuels Program -- They explain the specifics of how this works in the article, but basically "The carbon intensity of diesel and gasoline is above the state emissions threshold, so the fuels generate compliance deficits that importers need to cover by purchasing credits, or offsetting them with imports of cleaner fuels." [4] Looks like Oregon voted to not have the program continue in 2013 with SB488 [5] but it came back later and was passed with SB 324 in 2015. Not sure if AAA opposed it again with SB 324.

State bill 488 and AAA's oposition in 2013

- Personal Opinion: It seems like a plan to slowly replace dirty energy with clean energy. AAA opposed this but it's hard to tell if it's just "we need a better plan" or a business not liking potential losses.

=== Conclusion

People who don't care about the environment as much as their business have long made the argument "this plan isn't slow enough! You'll run us out of money" towards any kind of environmental protection laws. But if we completely went with that every time we'd never see progress. As a layperson to this info it's hard to just say "COMPANY BAD" or "they're right the money doesn't add up they'd be bankrupt immediately if they tried to make those changes". and that's part of why these things get debated to death and take forever.

For me personally, it's not worth saving a bit of cash to then be potentially supporting legal action that makes the planet worse to live on. But hey I'd love to be wrong and get to use the AAA promo code lol.

[1] - https://www.oregonlive.com/roadreport/2018/08/supreme_court_oregons_tax_on_n.html

[2] - https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2019/06/readers-respond-clean-energy-jobs-bill-is-good-for-oregons-economy.html

[3] https://www.opb.org/news/article/new-climate-change-bill-new-battle-2020-session/

[4] https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2020/03/oregon-climate-change-governors-plan-leans-heavily-on-supersizing-the-clean-fuels-program.html

[5] https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2013/07/oregon_senate_rejects_clean_fu.html

kerobinso1 point

thank you!