Friday, July 31, 2009

Shame on Weak Addition to Cash for Clunkers

Shame on the United States Congress for approving another $2 billion for the "Cash for Clunkers" program today. The program, which started earlier this week, allows owners to trade in a qualified, old, gas-guzzling vehicle for a newer vehicle with higher Miles Per Gallon in return for a $3,500 or $4,500 rebate. Already this week, $100 million has been redeemed of the original $1 billion approved for the program. Although this program is a good start at making our environment better while keeping the auto industry going from its already-faint heartbeat, the plan is flawed. The only specifics as to what kind of new car you can get is just one that has a higher MPG rating than the old car - hardly would make any difference if your old car got 18mpg and your new one gets 22mpg right? Representatives and Senators should have corrected this mistake with this second pass on the program. Don't get me wrong, I am not against keeping American auto workers on the job. However, Detroit wanted lower standards originally because they could barely compete with Japanese automakers' highly fuel-efficient vehicles, but in return, we screwed up a BIG chance to really turn this country around with better, cleaner, vehicles.
But there is hope in sight: a bipartisan group of senators is planning to oppose the new deal unless more stringent fuel-efficiency requirements are added. Oddly enough, 95 Republicans opposed the bill, even though the auto lobby has historically been pretty aligned with the GOP.

Published Post Number:146/152
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