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
$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
$1.89 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.
$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. 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 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 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. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry
#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
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
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.