President Obama’s eco-friendly EPA inked a green partnership deal with high-octane NASCAR Monday to promote recycling and environmentally-friendly products to the sport’s millions of fans.
Missing: any talk of greening races or race cars that consume about 450,000 gallons of gas a year and average five miles per gallon.
“Yes, the focus is on suppliers and programs, not green cars,” said an EPA spokesman.
Instead, it’s a first step to get fans and suppliers to think green while favorites like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart lay down some rubber.
“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.
The agreement “is a great example of NASCAR’s commitment to green innovation and our role as a leader in sustainability,” said Steve Phelps, Chief Marketing Officer of NASCAR.
Probably the furthest sport from the green movement, NASCAR for the past four years has nonetheless pushed an environmentally-friendly agenda in unusual ways. They even have a manager of “green innovation,” Michael Lynch.
In a white paper issued last month, NASCAR reports that they will plant 10 trees every time the green flag is raised, which they claim will capture “100 percent of the emissions produced” in races. They also have largest recycling program in sports and last year starting using E15 fuel.
“This partnership will provide new resources that will allow our industry to create innovative environmental education and awareness platforms while continuing to build on our strong momentum in reducing the environmental impact of our sport,” said NASCAR’s Lynch.