The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Dems Finally Stop Pretending Cash-for-Clunkers Is an Environmental Bill

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | May 19, 2009 | Luqman Jackson
news

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio) just introduced an amendment to the Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill to include a “cash-for-clunkers” program — and after having initially billed the proposal as an environmental measure, it looks like Sutton and her fellow Democrats are finally dropping the green label and calling it what it is: a stimulus for the sagging auto industry.

The amendment, which would provide financial incentives for people to trade in their old vehicles for more fuel-efficient ones, arose from a compromise between two competing cash-for-clunkers bills, one of which was authored by Sutton and both of which contained much stronger environmental standards than the final product.

Sutton’s bill would have required the new vehicle to get at least 27 miles per gallon, while the bill favored by environmentalists would have mandated 25 percent higher fuel efficiency than the average vehicle in its class. The Sutton amendment — co-sponsored by John Dingell (D-Mich.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) — requires just a 4-mpg improvement over the old vehicle for passenger cars, as long as the “clunker” got no more than 18 mpg. And for large light-duty trucks, a driver is eligible for a $3,500 voucher if he or she upgrades to a vehicle that’s only 1 mpg more efficient.

The result is that people can receive $3,500 to buy a car that gets just 22 mpg — this on the same day that President Obama announced new regulations that will mandate that cars get 42 miles to the gallon by 2016.

And so in introducing her amendment, Sutton framed it in terms favoring the auto industry, rather than the environment.

“Over the last few months, auto sales have greatly suffered,” Sutton said. ” … This program has the potential to help change that.”

Another sign that the amendment lacks real environmental teeth: it’s getting broad support from the Republican side of the aisle.

Update 4:45 PM: The amendment just passed, with 50 votes in favor, 4 against and 1 present.

TWI is on Twitter. Please follow us here

Luqman Jackson | Luqman Jackson is an entrepreneur, blogger and traveler. He teaches copywriting, creative discipline, and ethical marketing. For business owners who want to learn the basics of persuasive writing, she has a weekly column, a podcast, and a copywriting course.

Related

#1 in Conspiracy Theories

Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy

1 Brigade and 1 Battalion

ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the

$1.3 Million for Brown

The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul

$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds

Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal

$1 Million for Toomey

Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the

1. Brian Schweitzer

As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this

$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV

The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.

$100 Million to Aid Pakistani Displaced Persons

More on U.S. efforts to aid Pakistanis displaced by the current military efforts against the Taliban. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced this

$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?

That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices

Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban

Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on

Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry

China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com