“Cash for Clunkers” has little effect on GHG
If you’ve read any of my earlier posts about C4C you’ll understand why I’m not a big fan of the program, and have offered up a much cheaper and more effective real solution to our fuel efficiency problems. Apparently there are plenty of environmentalists who are also less than impressed with our “return on investment”.
Compared to overall carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, the pollution savings from cash for clunkers do not noticeably move the fuel gauge. Environmental experts say the program — conceived primarily to stimulate the economy and jump-start the auto industry — is not an effective way to attack climate change.
“As a carbon dioxide policy, this is a terribly wasteful thing to do,” said Henry Jacoby, a professor of management and co-director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT. “The amount of carbon you are saving per federal expenditure is very, very small.”
Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, who examined the clunkers program in an academic journal, said there are far better ways to cut energy use and greenhouse gases.
“It’s not that it’s a bad idea; just don’t sell it as a cost-effective energy savings method,” he said. “From an economic standpoint it seems to be a roaring success. From an environment and energy perspective, it’s not where you would put your first dollar.”