We're sure that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has nothing but the best intentions with her controversial "Cash for Clunkers" program, which would offer financial rewards to individuals who turn in their older cars to get crushed. It's true that environmental standards get tougher each year, so new cars are vastly more eco-friendly than those sold just a few years ago. Regardless, the backlash from classic car aficionados has already begun, and at least one heavy-hitter is putting its considerable weight behind blocking the legislation. SEMA has called on its members to write or call their Representatives, urging them to vote against the plan, arguing that classics will be destroyed and a ready supply of hard to find parts would be eliminated.
It seems unlikely that anyone who owns a vehicle of any value would hand it over to the government to crush, especially since the program couldn't offer enough cash to purchase a new car outright. So, the question of whether or not to support Pelosi's program may hinge on the future value of cars that are currently considered worthless. In other words, how much is that mint '86 Ford Taurus likely to be worth in 20 years? Perhaps a compromise of some sort can be reached that would seek to save historically significant machines from the great junkyard in the sky. Check out the full releae from SEMA after the break.

[Source SEMA via AutoblogGreen]

PRESS RELEASE:

SEMA Call To Oppose Federal "Cash for Clunkers" Program

Diamond Bar, CA. December 29, 2008: Washington lawmakers are drafting a large economic stimulus package to help create jobs and rebuild infrastructure. They want to include a nationwide scrappage program which would give U.S. tax dollars to consumers who turn-in older cars to have them crushed, as a misguided attempt to spur new car sales. The lawmakers need to scrap this idea.

The stimulus package is being drafted right now. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants to introduce the bill on January 6 and have it approved by Congress by January 20, so that President Obama can sign it into law after he is inaugurated.

Contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi IMMEDIATELY To Oppose Cash for Clunkers!

Call: 202/225-0100

Click here to send an electronic message: HOUSE.GOV

Talking Points

Oppose the Use of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars for Cash for Clunkers

"Cash for Clunkers" programs threaten enthusiasts nationwide with the loss of valuable parts and parts-cars for repair, restoration, and customization projects. The programs also risk destroying classic, historic and special-interest vehicles, our American heritage.

I am [calling/writing] to urge lawmakers not to include a "Cash for Clunkers" provision in the economic stimulus bill. Owners who turn in vehicles for crushing would receive a "minimal" payment to purchase a new car. This is a misguided attempt to spur car sales and claim that the country's air quality or fleet fuel mileage is being improved.

I work for [company name] located in [city and state]. My company is part of the specialty automotive industry, an industry which enables consumers to enhance their vehicle's appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and safety. "Cash for Clunkers" programs deny our small businesses the availability of older cars necessary to develop and market their products and services. The programs will hurt my company and our customers.

Cars turned in for scrappage often barely run, or are rarely-driven second or third vehicles that have a minimal impact on overall fuel economy or emissions.

"Cash for Clunkers" programs will reduce the availability of affordable transportation and repair parts used by low-income drivers. It will also compete with the Salvation Army, the Purple Heart and other charities that rely on vehicle donations to raise money.

"Cash for Clunkers" ignores better policy options. If Congress wants to act, support for repair and upgrade is a better choice and a win-win for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and repair shops. Significant emissions and fuel economy improvements can be achieved in older vehicles through relatively simple and inexpensive means: repaired/replaced exhaust systems, tune-ups, etc.

We hope we can count on you to reject "Cash for Clunkers." Thank you for your consideration on this very important matter.

Please send a quick note and/or a copy of your message to Speaker Pelosi to:

E-mail: briand@sema.org
Fax: 202/783-6024

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