WHY CAR CLUNKER SCRAPPAGE PROGRAMS SHOULD BE SCRAPPED*
* (Source: Council of Vehicle Associations, PO Box 2136, West Paterson, NJ 07424-3311 Phone number: 800.CARS.166 Fax number: 973.279.3779) [Note: Apparently the Council of Vehicle Associations is no longer active.] [Chameidess quote and information added August 2009]
- Scrappage programs are environmentally reckless--According to the Hamburg Environmental Institute, the manufacture of one new automobile creates 25.9 tons of non-recyclable waste. This is what will be produced as new vehicles eventually are manufactured to replace those removed from the road.
- Update August 2009: ... [I]t takes electricity to make a new car, and fuel to ship it. The estimates vary, but somewhere between 3 and, say, 12 tons of CO2 are produced for every car you make, says William Chameides, dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Chameides calculates that if you trade in an 18 mpg clunker for a 22 mpg new car (22 miles per gallon is the minimum mileage allowed for a new car under the [2009 Cash for Clunkers government] program), it would take five and a half years of typical driving to offset the new cars carbon footprint. With trucks, it might take eight or nine years, he says.... Source
- No reduction of air pollution will result--Past three years of age, pollution emissions are related to how well a car is maintained and this is a matter of personal economics and values.
- Maintenance is the Key, not age of the vehicle--Properly tuned and maintained older cars can be made to run as clean as new ones. This is a matter of car owner responsibility and an effective inspection program.
- 10% of the cars produce 50% of the pollution, regardless of age--Past three years of age, poorly maintained and tampered with cars are the polluters, not just the pre-1980 cars as identified by the EPA.
- Major polluters get pollution credits on the cheap--For $700 refineries can get pollution credits based upon pollution emissions prior to a $50 carburetor adjustment. In other words, they get an inflated credit based upon the car's dirtiest condition, not its cleanest.
- People are encouraged not to maintain their cars--People will run their cars into the ground, rather than maintain them knowing that they will get a price greater than their market value.
- The public pays for others not to maintain their cars--Whether funded by tax dollars or by industry purchases, the $700 purchase price will be passed on to the general public.
- Original recyclers will pay higher prices--As the first recyclers, auto hobbyists and re-builders will find parts drying up and getting costlier when cars are taken off the road for crushing.
- Used cars will rise in price--As the supply of older cars diminished, the price of those remaining will increase, much to the harm of those who cannot afford new cars.
- More than "clunkers are endangered--According to the Chairman of the Board of UNOCAL, if they had resorted to removing pollutants from their own refinery processes equal to the amount removed by crushing thousands of cars, it would have cost them about ten times as much. This means that it would be cost effective for them to remove from the road and crush cars costing up to $7000, not simply the $700 we all hear about as the worth of the vehicle purchased for crushing.
- $200 million industry is endangered--Thousands of jobs providing goods and services to hobbyists are at risk if older cars are marked for extinction.
- Voluntary can become mandatory--While at present scrappage programs are voluntary, so-called "good" ideas can become mandatory given enough government attention.
Urge your political representatives to oppose car scrappage programs!
Last updated August 4, 2009
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