A fleet modernization program has been proposed by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., which would establish a national incentive program for voluntary retirement of fuel-inefficient vehicles through the Department of Energy. Princeton University’s Dr. Alan Blinder, in a New York Times article published in 2008, referred to this policy option as “Cash for Clunkers” government payments to remove older, less-fuel-efficient or high-polluting vehicles from America’s highways.
Specifically, the program would compensate drivers $2,500 to $4,500 for exchanging their fuel-inefficient vehicle for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy predicts that, if implemented, the program would save motor fuel and reduce greenhouse gases and ground-level ozone levels.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) supports a Cash for Clunkers program if it includes these following important points:
Includes a vehicle repair option for consumers.
Programs should be administered by the states.
Vehicle participation should be tied to emissions and improving air quality.
Repair cost allowances should be sufficient to address emissions repairs.
There are several Cash for Clunkers initiatives being discussed as part of the Stimulus legislation. To review the Feinstein legislation or other related Cash for Clunkers information, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingtheHill.com.