The House is currently looking at a Cash for Clunkers bill that would give owners of eight-year or older vehicles up to $5,000 to turn in their car or truck for a more fuel efficient vehicle. The deal sounds great for the owners of beaters, and automakers wouldn't complain much either. The most politically friendly aspect of the legislation, though, is the perceived positive impact on the environment. More fuel efficient vehicles emit less CO2 than an older model, and less oil use means less drilling. Less drilling means a decreased dependency on foreign oil. That sounds like a win, win, win, win proposition, but one organization isn't so sure.

The Fight Cash For Clunkers group claims that the legislation would do more harm to the environment than good. Aaron Lowe, vice president of government affairs for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, says Cash For Clunkers will lead to more vehicles being scrapped, which would then lead to more car waste in landfills. The group would rather owners of older vehicles take steps to improve the efficiency of the vehicles they already own.

If that makes sense to you, you probably work in the automotive aftermarket business. Aftermarket companies don't make money on new car sales, but replacement parts for old cars pays the bills. And with more Americans repairing cars instead of buying new ones, the aftermarket is in better shape. Hit the jump to view the Fight Cash For Clunkers press release, But be forewarned, you won't find any data that quantifies how landfill waste is more damning to our environment than really old vehicles with holes in the mufflers and pre-Cambrian Catalytic Converters.


'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 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

Source: Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association

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