Does the "Cash for Clunkers" bill have a landfill-stuffing downside?
Here's the thing. In America, 84 percent of cars (by weight) are recycled and 95 percent of vehicles go through the recycling process. So, while taking old cars off the road does increase the amount of stuff in landfills and also demands that more resources be taken out of the ground to build the new vehicles, it's not like all these old cars will instantly end up in a junk yard. Plus, there is no way to reduce the overall amount of oil we burn in our cars without one of two things happening: we drive less or we get more efficient cars. I'm in favor of both options. While Lowe's proposal to make the vehicles on the road as efficient as possible (tire pressure is a good and easy place to start), this "fight" smells more like a self-serving battle than anything else. The AAIA's mission is to represent over 100,000 repair shops, parts stores and distribution outlets. With a bunch of new cars on the roads, they're naturally going to have less work to do.
[Source: Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association]
'Cash for Clunkers' Promises to Expand Landfills
Unintended Consequences of 'Clunkers' Bill Will Harm the Environment
BETHESDA, Md., March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Cash for Clunkers bill (H.R. 1550), which is touted as having long-term environmental benefits, could actually do much more harm than good to the environment if the bill is passed, according to Aaron Lowe, vice president of government affairs for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).
"Proponents of the Cash for Clunkers bill say that it will benefit the environment because it will take older cars off the road, replacing them with new, more fuel efficient vehicles," said Lowe. "However, there is an inherent problem associated with this theory. What will become of all these old cars? The answer you don't hear from the backers of Cash for Clunkers is that these scrapped vehicles will more than likely be sent to landfills, creating more pollution, not less."
Congress and states have considered Cash for Clunkers proposals in the past and in many cases have decided against them. Many legislators have come to realize the unintended consequences of this program and that they are not a cost effective use of government money. In fact, the Cash for Clunkers amendment to the United States Senate stimulus package was withdrawn from the bill prior to its passage.
"Providing incentives for motorists to have their current vehicles maintained for fuel efficiency would be a better use of federal money that would also benefit the environment," continued Lowe. "Cash for Clunkers might look good on paper, but in reality it has many unintended, irreversible consequences and should be rejected by Congress."
Interested parties can send an e-mail in opposition to the Cash for Clunkers program to the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader and their congressional representatives by visiting www.fightcashforclunkers.org and clicking on "Take Action."
About Fight Cash for Clunkers:
The Fight Cash for Clunkers organization opposes the inclusion of a Cash for Clunkers provision in the economic stimulus package currently being considered by Congress, instead favoring tax credits to help upgrade, repair or maintain older vehicles, as well as tax deductions for interest on car loans and state sales tax. For more information, visit www.fightcashforclunkers.org.
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