Gas Guzzlers Group Burns Cash

The Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America (SUVOA) industry front group paid the PR firm Stratacomm $440,000 in the first half of 2007 to lobby the U.S. government. Stratacomm boasts a range of auto industry clients. Later this year, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are set to discuss proposals to mandate that the auto industry meet a fuel efficiency target of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 across their range of vehicles, including passenger cars and sport utility vehicles. Associated Press reports that recently filed lobbying disclosure forms reveal that SUVOA "lobbied against Senate legislation promoting higher fuel economy standards." In 2004, the PR commentator Paul Holmes wrote that "what is clear is that SUVOA is a front for SUV manufacturers. Its board of directors consists largely of industry reps and public affairs execs with ties to the industry."