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When the Clunker Is Greener (Want to be green? Consider keeping your clunker)
Washington Post ^ | 8/4/2009 | Gwen Ottinger

Posted on 08/04/2009 7:46:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The wildly popular "Cash for Clunkers" program is one of a number of policies funded by this year's stimulus package that encourage consumers to make major purchases in the name of the environment. The program offers incentives for car owners to trade in automobiles getting fewer than 18 miles per gallon for more fuel-efficient vehicles. State-run rebate programs for Energy Star appliances operate similarly, encouraging consumers to replace their washers, dryers and refrigerators with new models that meet efficiency standards set by government agencies. These programs presumably benefit the economy and the environment simultaneously: Increased consumer spending helps manufacturers and retailers, while increases in fuel efficiency reduce the amount of fossil fuels consumed and greenhouse gases generated.

But these consumption-promoting policies are not necessarily a boon to the environment.

First, even when new cars and appliances are more efficient than the ones they replace, the act of replacing them entails environmental costs not accounted for in the stimulus programs. Building a new car, washing machine or refrigerator takes energy and resources: The manufacture of steel, aluminum and plastics are energy-intensive processes, and some of the materials used in durable goods, especially plastics, use non-renewable fossil fuels as feedstocks as well as energy sources. Disposing of old products, a step required by most incentive and rebate programs, also has environmental costs: It takes additional energy to shred and recycle metals; plastic components often cannot be recycled and end up as landfill cover; and the engine fluids, refrigerants and other chemicals essential to operating products end up as hazardous wastes.

Policies that encourage purchases of energy-efficient products may also increase, rather than decrease, energy use by confusing efficiency with consumption.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 111th; cashforclunkers; clunkers; green; greens; recycling

1 posted on 08/04/2009 7:46:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

With a 10% sales tax in CA it eats up most of your CFC money. Add to that the higer resitration and insurance..and in CA it really pays to keep your old car running.
We are in the market for a new vehicle, but will wait until all the CFC money is gone and then go looking. Why compete with people who are getting screwed with their “trade ins”.


2 posted on 08/04/2009 7:53:43 AM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: SeekAndFind

“Yet plenty of used cars exceed the required 22 mpg: The Toyota Prius hybrid, on the market since 2001, gets upward of 40 mpg, and even a 15-year-old Honda Civic gets 28.”

Even with aggressive driving, my ‘91 Mazda Miata gets 27mpg in mixed driving, and that’s with over 240,000 miles on the original engine. The ‘81 Accord I used to own would do it too.


3 posted on 08/04/2009 7:57:44 AM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Those who provide the least and demand the most have a voting majority.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t much care about how green the program is in all these other ways but I do know this - vehicles traded in under the program averaged 15.8MPG abd the new vehicles averaged 25.4MPG. That’s a 61% improvement and a fair bit less money going to the middle east & venezuela. We should see how much oil we can squeeze out and replace. Those areas are too dangerous to fund this way.


4 posted on 08/04/2009 7:59:05 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: Oldexpat

“With a 10% sales tax in CA it eats up most of your CFC money.”

...you might want to check that out....sales tax is income tax deductable in my state (North Carolina)...this was a stimulus in place prior to C4C.


5 posted on 08/04/2009 8:01:44 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: TomOnTheRun
I'll bet those old clunkers were driven a lot less than the opne that was just purchased. Net improvement...probably "0".

P.S. I'd question the 15.8...

6 posted on 08/04/2009 8:07:04 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: SeekAndFind

green weenies tell us to “reuse and recycle”..
I’m not doing that if I don’t use up the 200k+ my VW Golf is nearing...

besides, I’ve never spent more than $4500 on a car in my life and I’ve had several that lasted my 8-10 years.


7 posted on 08/04/2009 8:13:52 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (ACORN:American Corruption for Obama Right Now)
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To: Sacajaweau

To: shortstop
Let’s do some math on this. Gas is $2.33/gal here. $4500 gets you 1931 gallons. Being a “clunker”, let’s assume 15 miles/gal. For that payoff, you could have driven the thing 28970 miles. Having bought a new car instead, let’s assume you’re getting 25 miles/gal - covering 48275 miles, or 19305 more than the “clunker”. Coulda just paid clunker owners $3000 for the extra milage, at which point they most likely would have replaced the durn thing anyway.

I’m increasingly unclear as to the alleged point of this program.

25 posted on 08/03/2009 6:29:49 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (John Galt was exiled.)


8 posted on 08/04/2009 8:15:21 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (ACORN:American Corruption for Obama Right Now)
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To: ZirconEncrustedTweezers

My 88 Camry runs just fine. I use it for my commuter car. I drive 80 miles round trip each week. I put one of those engines from Japan in it last year and it still uses no oil between changes.....Keep your clunker program Obama! I’m doing more for the environment by keeping my car with a newer engine in it....


9 posted on 08/04/2009 8:23:03 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Sacajaweau
The 15.8 is more accurate than we're probably inclined to believe. According to Ford Motors in the WSJ the most traded-in veheicle for them was the Ford Explorer SUV which averaged about 13MPG. The most popular replacement was apparently the Ford Focus which averages 27MPG. Even if these are secondary cars that are driven less it can still be said that WHEN those cars are used it's putting less oil money in the pockets of states that I don't want funded by us at all.

Besides - it's a recession. Most people will use the more fuel efficient car if possible. I also don't know anybody using this program to replace second cars that they rarely drive. I know of people bumping their current primary car down to secondary and using their new car as the new primary ... but not getting a new car to sit around and rarely use except to go to church on Sunday.
10 posted on 08/04/2009 8:23:21 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Exactly. If I keep my 18-year-old Mazda running, that’s one less new car that has to be manufactured.


11 posted on 08/04/2009 8:30:07 AM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Those who provide the least and demand the most have a voting majority.)
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To: TomOnTheRun
That’s a 61% improvement and a fair bit less money going to the middle east & venezuela.

Just wait until the states start trying to fill the hole in their gasoline tax budget line items.

12 posted on 08/04/2009 8:32:33 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: SeekAndFind

Say NO to Cash for Clunkers!

I have a 2000 Chevy Silverado. It has 86,000 miles on it. Yes, that right. I drive less than 9,000 miles a year. It gets about 18 miles to the gallon. How long does it take for one of these new tin cans to pay for itself?


13 posted on 08/04/2009 8:33:23 AM PDT by caver (Obama's first goals: allow more killing of innocents and allow the killers of innocents to go free.)
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To: TomOnTheRun
The most popular replacement was apparently the Ford Focus which averages 27MPG.

My 2000 Acura 3.2TL luxury sedan gets 27mpg.

14 posted on 08/04/2009 8:33:47 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: mvpel
Just wait until the states start trying to fill the hole in their gasoline tax budget line items.

OK. I also understand that will be happening. It still means less money going to middle east & venezuela. I didn't think that would happen without sacrifice. I'm supposed to change my mind about what I feel is the right thing because of petty personal costs?
15 posted on 08/04/2009 8:36:29 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: mvpel
My 2000 Acura 3.2TL luxury sedan gets 27mpg.

Great! You're a wise shopper who purchased a car that was both durable & thrifty! At least I assume it's durable since you are still able to drive it.

I'm really not sure what else you expect me to say.
16 posted on 08/04/2009 8:39:15 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: TomOnTheRun
I don’t much care about how green the program is in all these other ways but I do know this - vehicles traded in under the program averaged 15.8MPG abd the new vehicles averaged 25.4MPG.

Yes, but without the CFC program, the 15.8 mpg 'clunkers' would have been sold in the used car market. They would have gone to people looking to trade up, possibly replacing an even older 10-12 mpg super clunker. Now they are being scrapped.

17 posted on 08/04/2009 9:02:06 AM PDT by sportutegrl (If liberals could do math, they would be conservatives.)
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To: Oldexpat
Buy a new Ford truck

MY NEW TRUCK

I bought a new Ford f250 and returned to the dealer yesterday because I couldn't get the radio to work. The salesman explained that the radio was voice activated.

'Nelson,' the salesman said to the radio.

The radio replied, 'Ricky or Willie?'

'Willie!' he continued and 'On The Road Again' came from the speakers.

Then he said, 'Ray Charles!', and in an instant ' Georgia On My Mind' replaced Willie Nelson.

I drove away happy, and for the next few days, every time I'd say, 'Beethoven,' I'd get beautiful classical music, and if I said, 'Beatles,' I'd get one of their awesome songs.

Yesterday, some guy ran a red light and nearly creamed my new truck, but I swerved in time to avoid him. I yelled, 'Ass Hole!'

Immediately the radio responded with, "Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, Barack Obama."

Damn I love this truck......

Via email.

18 posted on 08/04/2009 9:07:24 AM PDT by BARLF
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To: STONEWALLS
...you might want to check that out....sales tax is income tax deductable in my state (North Carolina)...this was a stimulus in place prior to C4C.

Not in California. You think this liberal commie state would let us keep any of our money?!

19 posted on 08/04/2009 9:10:45 AM PDT by Tamar1973 (http://koreanforniancooking.blogspot.com/)
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To: sportutegrl
Yes, but without the CFC program, the 15.8 mpg 'clunkers' would have been sold in the used car market. They would have gone to people looking to trade up, possibly replacing an even older 10-12 mpg super clunker. Now they are being scrapped.

Those are lovely possible situations. Are you asking me to choise between a "possibly & maybe" and "documented improvement"? Between a small number of possible 3MPG improvements and a larger number of much larger improvements? If your priority was denying oil money to people that you believe support terrorism and murder of your fellow citizens which would you choose?
20 posted on 08/04/2009 9:11:09 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: SeekAndFind

Someone said today that the program should be called the Korea and Japan bailout program since the majority of cars sold in this program are foreign made.

I thought that this was supposed to help the U.S. auto makers?


21 posted on 08/04/2009 9:16:01 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: Oldexpat

Here in NJ, the Governor has already stated that the $4500.00 “Incentive” will be subject to the 7% Sales Tax, along with the amount of the new car. I thought of trading my 95 Windstar, and found out it qualified, but I need another minivan for my disabled spouse’s scooter. Not too many minivans are offered for a good price, and the ones that are, don’t sound like they will be able to go over 55 mph. The 2010 Ford minivan model has a 4 cylinder engine and looks like a breadtruck! Sorry, I’ll keep it for now....


22 posted on 08/04/2009 9:17:59 AM PDT by shredderman (Living in a Blue State, with a Blue Wife, But I'm Red to the bone.....)
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To: TomOnTheRun

My 95 Geo Prizm Gets 25-27 mpg (A/C on or off)in the city, with 35 mpg on the highway......and it’s paid for.


23 posted on 08/04/2009 9:24:26 AM PDT by shredderman (Living in a Blue State, with a Blue Wife, But I'm Red to the bone.....)
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To: shredderman
My 95 Geo Prizm Gets 25-27 mpg (A/C on or off)in the city, with 35 mpg on the highway......and it’s paid for.

Great! You're a wise shopper who purchased a car that was both durable & thrifty! At least I assume it's durable since you are still able to drive it. I'm really not sure what else you expect me to say.
24 posted on 08/04/2009 9:41:27 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: WOBBLY BOB
I’m increasingly unclear as to the alleged point of this program.

It was to get people to buy more GM and Chrysler cars. The Obama administration is hiding the sales figures because it looks like the big winners are Toyota, Honda and Hyundai.

25 posted on 08/04/2009 10:39:58 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Obama's medical nationalization bill reads like Atlas Shrugged with doctors instead of railroads.)
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To: KarlInOhio

The Obamanite intend to cruch the Ford Motor Company for not bowing to our Dumbo eared emperor..


26 posted on 08/04/2009 10:59:49 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: TomOnTheRun
If your priority was denying oil money to people that you believe support terrorism and murder of your fellow citizens which would you choose?

I'd choose to "drill here, drill now" in the many areas of the US where we can obtain oil & gas.

As opposed to stealing from Peter so Paul can buy a car with the proceeds.

27 posted on 08/04/2009 11:07:49 AM PDT by jimt
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To: jimt
"I'd choose to "drill here, drill now" in the many areas of the US where we can obtain oil & gas. ..."

A valid idea but part of a distinctly different program. I'm merely standing my ground on the fact that if reducing oil consumption was a goal of this program there is a lot of evidence suggesting that low mileage cars have been traded in for higher mileage cars. I didn't care about any of the other supposedly green aspects or economic benefits. Sorry. I'm just tickled that people paying the bills of terrorists and murderers have less money to fling around and I want to see what we can do to further reduce that.
28 posted on 08/04/2009 11:27:15 AM PDT by TomOnTheRun
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To: potlatch; holdonnow; PhilDragoo; ntnychik; MeekOneGOP; Jeff Head; Grampa Dave; Travis McGee; ...


29 posted on 08/04/2009 12:27:00 PM PDT by devolve (- - .....mean-spiritedanddangerous.com..... - -)
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To: SeekAndFind

Cars symbolize the great American Dream.

Is there any reason why we are letting the government take away our cars?


30 posted on 08/04/2009 4:55:28 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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