In April, Mayor Bloomberg signed a bill giving New York the toughest laws against vehicular idling; leaving your engine running for more than three minutes is punishable by fines ranging from $220 to $2,000 for repeat offenders. And the limit in a school zone is just one minute. At the bill signing, Bloomberg declared, "Those of us that want to leave a good life for our children, and want to have clean air for us to breathe, and clean water to drink... it's incumbent on us to really carry the fight."
But when Bloomberg said "us," it should have been understood that, as in all things, "us" means "you": The Associated Press just concluded a scathing investigation into the mayor's city-owned SUVs, which whisk him around town and even drive him to the subway. Reporters monitoring the parked vehicles as they waited for the mayor were seen idling at least eight times for periods of 10 minutes to over an hour. Oh, we cannot wait to see Bloomberg's peevish reaction when some disgraceful reporter asks him about this one!
What's even more galling—besides idling engines' serious impact on global warming and asthma—is that the mayor's vehicles don't even need the engine on for radios and heat to function! They do need the engine running for AC, but every time the AP caught the vehicles idling, temperatures were mild and they were parked in the shade. Of course, Bloomberg's SUVs are literally exempt from the anti-idling law because they're considered emergency vehicles. Asked about the "American Idle" expose, Bloombeg spokesman Stu Loesser said, "We're doing our best."