Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

Hard sell: NASCAR teams with EPA to spread green message

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38687 full

When thoughts turn to the high-octane excitement of NASCAR racing, there isn’t much space left for anything remotely eco-friendly. Given than the cars burn through 450,000 gallons of gas a year and get on average a mere five miles to the gallon, car racing is about as far from green as a sport can be.

Still, as reported by Triple Pundit, NASCAR and the Environmental Protection Agency are coming together in an attempt to spread a more environmentally friendly message to the masses of Americans who are dedicated fans of the sport.

The five-page “Memorandum of Understanding” between the unlikely partners spells out the myriad of ways they can “facilitate transfer of useful environmental information to a large fan base via the well-developed communications network managed by NASCAR.”

“Because NASCAR is followed by millions of passionate fans and many businesses, it can be a powerful platform to raise environmental awareness, drive the adoption of safer products by more Americans, and support the growing green economy,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in the Washington Examiner.

Triple Pundit also points out that the agreement is in support of President Obama’s National Biochemical Blueprint, which is “designed to uncouple economic growth from dependency on fossil fuels, petrochemicals and other hazardous substances.”

Considering that NASCAR fans are traditionally (and somewhat stereotypically) painted as overwhelmingly conservative, the move has already generated controversy. Fox News coined the partnership an “infiltration” of the sport, while Brand Channel highlights a tsunami of harsh criticism found on NASCAR’s official site from the same fans being targeted.

“No way NASCAR, its drivers and owners will put up with this nonsense,” says one such commenter on the Fox News post. “This too shall pass, quickly, once Obama is defeated in November.”

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