The Tough Fifth-Grade Lobby

Auto emissions regulations are the rage in Vermont. The state recently adopted the "California standards," a policy stance that is now playing out ...
by | April 23, 2007
 

Gang_2 Auto emissions regulations are the rage in Vermont. The state recently adopted the "California standards," a policy stance that is now playing out in U.S. District Court. Automakers and the state differ on the effects and unintended consequences of stricter emissions limits.

Meanwhile, under the moniker "Sustainability is Our Mission," one fifth grade class in Jericho, Vermont, has become the state's most influential lobbyist for a less contentious emissions regulation -- a ban on bus idling. The students argue that school buses that idle while they wait not only harm the environment and student health, but also cost the state money. The ban they champion should pass in the state House.

But no policy pro is without a con; opponents of the bill don't want the state intervening in local matters. School boards, they say, should set school bus policy.

The state Senate has already passed a "middle ground" bill that would force the local school boards to adopt some policy on bus idling, though not necessarily a ban, by January.

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Will Wilson  |  Former Correspondent
willbwilson@gmail.com

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