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Bartlett buys an eco-car

August 10, 2000|By LAURA ERNDE

Bartlett buys an eco-car



U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who generally gets low marks from environmental groups, just bought himself the least polluting four-door sedan on the market.

Bartlett, R-Md., took delivery of the 2001 Toyota Prius at a Frederick, Md., dealership on Thursday hoping to encourage others to invest in the technology.

"He's a scientist and he loves new technology," said his spokeswoman, Lisa Wright.

The hybrid gas-electric car's clean and quiet engine gets up to 52 miles per gallon gas mileage, which will come in handy on his daily commutes between Frederick and Washington, D.C.

The Prius received the Sierra Club Award for Excellence in Environmental Engineering.

But the Sierra Club, which is not endorsing Bartlett for re-election, criticized his voting record Thursday.

"It's great the Congressman decided to buy an environmentally responsible car. It would be even better if he decided to cast some environmentally responsible votes," said Mike Newman, the Sierra Club's national political representative.

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Recently, Bartlett, R-Md., voted against allowing the EPA to test air quality during a court battle over Clean Air standards, Newman said.

Wright said the Sierra Club often favors big government solutions to environmental problems while Bartlett believes it's cheaper and more effective to promote market incentives. The Sierra Club bases its endorsements on selected votes that have only indirect connections to the environment such as worldwide population control, she said.

"The Congressman and the Sierra Club share the exact same goal of protecting the environment," she said.

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