Cash for Clunkers Bill Moves Ahead - Engine Builder Magazine
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Cash for Clunkers Bill Moves Ahead

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“Cash
for Clunkers” legislation has gained traction on Capitol Hill as
competing bills in the House have been consolidated and moved out of
committee. The White House and the House Energy and Commerce Committee
reached an agreement on proposed legislation, which now moves to the
full House for consideration.

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"’Cash for clunkers’ is a common-sense proposal that will help provide
a shot in the arm for the American auto industry at a crucial time for
our economy, reduce the emissions that cause climate change, and make
America more energy independent,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “By
helping Americans trade in their old, less fuel efficient cars and
trucks for newer, higher mileage vehicles, consumers will save money at
the pump, help protect our planet, and create and save jobs for
American autoworkers.”

Numerous automotive aftermarket associations including AASA, AAIA,
CAWA, CARE, SEMA and others, have expressed opposition to the plan.
SEMA yesterday issued a statement expressing its disappointment in the
measure.

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"The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is disappointed that
today lawmakers and the Administration have taken another step toward
establishing a national “Cash for Clunkers” program. SEMA recognizes
the urgent need to direct economic stimulus towards automakers and
dealerships, and protect the environment. SEMA has consistently
supported the concept of government–issued vouchers and other
incentives to purchase new, fuel-efficient cars as a mechanism to
achieve that goal. With a program that includes scrapping cars and
trucks, Congress is simply taking the wrong approach.

"SEMA will continue to work with lawmakers to find ways to minimize the
harm a motor vehicle scrappage program will needlessly impose on
thousands of independent repair shops, auto restorers, customizers and
their customers across the country. SEMA will promote instead a
government incentive program that will help clean the environment,
provide for vehicle and parts recycling, and preserve collector cars
for future generations.

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"We are in contact with Congressional offices working toward that goal
now. Automakers and dealers need to sell cars in order to survive, but
potential buyers have hit the brakes in these tough economic times.
Scrappage programs actually would deny vouchers to the majority of
people who may want to buy a new car but don’t have an eligible older
car to trade. Instead, these programs will be misused by those who own
two or three older cars and seek to take advantage of the taxpayer
give-away. Many of these cars aren’t frequently driven, if at all, so
destroying them will not clean the nation’s air or make us less
dependent on foreign oil.

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While supporters tout a similar German program as evidence of success,
the European Federation for Transport and the Environment, (the
pan-European federation of environmental groups), has urged Germany and
other countries to abandon scrappage subsidies because they do more
environmental harm than good by artificially accelerating the car life
cycle.

"Scrappage programs hurt thousands of independent repair shops, auto
restorers, customizers and their customers across the country. This
industry provides thousands of American jobs and generates millions of
dollars in local, state and federal tax revenues. We encourage the
President to help the entire auto industry with programs that focus the
incentive where it counts – on the purchase of new vehicles and not
destroying older cars."

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