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Monday, February 13, 2017

The Record's strong environmental report ignores huge death toll from auto fumes

This photo was published by AutoBlog.com in a report on the number of premature deaths from emissions, including those from automobiles.

 -- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

When The Record's editors plaster an environmental story all over Page 1, readers get it.

Today's sensational report on a "giant bird-killer in the meadowlands" and Monday's huge front-page layout on the Hackensack River, one of the dirtiest in North Jersey, have one thing in common:

They steer clear of alienating such big advertisers as automakers and their dealers.

Auto and truck emissions kill 53,000 people prematurely every year, MIT's Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment reported in 2013.

That figure was cited by Elon Musk last March, when the CEO of Tesla unveiled the Model 3, a smaller, more-affordable zero-emissions car that is expected to go into production this year.

The Record and most other news outlets have ignored the environmental benefits of all-electric vehicles, because there is literally nothing in those stories for them.

Tesla doesn't advertise, and Nissan, BMW and other companies do little or no marketing and promotion of their EVs.

What you will find advertised in The Record are all of the gas-guzzling SUVs and performance cars automakers are churning out to take advantage of low gas prices.

And John Cichowski, The Record's so-called commuting columnist, has been pandering to drivers for more than 13 years, and refusing to cover environmentally friendly mass transit.

Negative EV report

The Record's front page carried a largely negative story on all-electric cars in December 2015. 

Scott Fallon, a veteran environmental reporter, focused only on EVs with limited range and the lack of charging stations for them in New Jersey.

Only in passing did he mention Tesla's Model S, which has a range of more than 200 miles and free, fast-charging stations for owners located in highway service areas and New Jersey malls.

Fallon also was unaware buyers of all-electric cars pay no N.J. sales tax (that's a savings of $5,600 on an $80,000 Tesla), or that even electric cars with a range of 80 miles to 100 miles are ideal for seniors, whose driving is limited.

And nowhere did Fallon mention battery driven cars are the key to reducing deaths from auto emissions.

Christie and Trump

Record Staff Writer Charles Stile apparently still hasn't given up his dream of working for Governor Christie in the nation's capital, if his Sunday political column is any indication.

"In some ways, Christie would be a seamless fit in the chaotic Trump world," Stile wrote of the governor who was removed as head of the president-elect's transition team and lost out to others on a Cabinet post.