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Chuck Frank
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Former Foundation Board member Chuck Frank was raised in the car business, having owned the world’s largest Chevrolet dealership and numerous others. Chuck serves on the leadership team for Sierra Club’s Green Transportation campaign and is proud to play a role in bringing cleaner, greener solutions to American transportation.

Chuck says, “I’ve been a Sierra Club member since 1975, but when I joined the Foundation’s National Advancement Council in 1993, I wasn’t sure how I’d be greeted by Sierra Club, as a dealer selling SUVs. In fact, I was warmly embraced, as an industry insider who could advocate for higher fuel economy standards. I started supporting the campaign to raise fuel economy standards that very year.

I never bought the argument that by greening our automotive industry, we’d hinder our economy, consumer choice, or safety. But, until recently, consumers saw fuel economy as a financial issue, not an environmental one. Now it’s both—plus it’s an issue of national security. Gas prices and fuel economy standards are going up.

With the Club’s work, supported by The Sierra Club Foundation,  there will be a tipping point.  Alternative fuel vehicles will be on the same price level as fuel gasoline engines, saving consumers money at the fuel pump. Demand is building, and I absolutely believe that Sierra Club’s goals are attainable.

I always looked at the Sierra Club as an organization of citizens, who individually have a passion to accomplish something. Some of those citizens have the time and capability to get out here and do it themselves. Some of us don’t have the time, but have resources and the same passion, and together, through our extensive grassroots networks, we can accomplish our goals.”

Beyond Oil

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground while promoting low-carbon fuels, electric vehicles and smarter transportation systems.

Changing the Economics: Fight Keystone XL and Tar Sands Expansion

When dealing with something as vast and slippery as Big Oil, it can take time to wrestle it to the ground. To keep up with desired production plans and maintain investor confidence, the industry needs to double the current capacity of pipelines out of Alberta, increasing it by between 3.5 to 4 million barrels per day. Even if all proposed pipelines were built—TransCanada’s Keystone XL among them—there still wouldn’t be enough capacity to handle the growth that companies have laid out in their expansion plans. Because of this, a delay or defeat of any of these pipelines is a significant blow to tar sands production and profitability.

And that’s where the opportunity lies. In 2012, Wall Street adopted a wait-and-see stance, halting investment, gumming up oil industry plans, and forcing it to lower production forecasts. The fact that the Club and its partners have, with legitimate cause, delayed Keystone XL by 4 years has prevented not only major bank investment but also the release of 400 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.


New Standards for a Better World: Keeping up Pressure on Fuel Efficiency

In 2012, The Sierra Club Foundation supported efforts to get 300,000 messages to the EPA and the Department of Transportation, advocating for cleaner vehicle legislation. Those efforts have paid off. The 54.5 miles per gallon fuel efficiency standards announced in 2012 will double the average efficiency of all vehicles on the road by 2025. Not only is this “change we can believe in,” it’s also the most significant measure to get off oil in four decades.


To learn more about the Beyond Oil Campaign on the Sierra Club's website, click here!

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