Government trying to screw the car guy
Dear Fellow Enthusiast,
Last month, we sent you an Urgent Legislative Alert from The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) regarding a proposed “Cash for Clunkers” bill that would threaten our hobby. Thanks to your overwhelming response, this legislation was dropped from the economic stimulus package. Congratulations for standing up for your rights as enthusiasts!
We have just received a follow-up Legislative Alert from SEMA. New legislation (S. 247 and H.R. 520) has been introduced in Congress to create a national vehicle scrappage program which will give U.S. tax dollars to consumers who turn-in their “gas guzzlers” to have them crushed. This program would target vehicles with low fuel economy ratings of any model year. That means sports cars, SUVs, and performance-built vehicles could be crushed in exchange for a monetary reward.
The following information is directly from SEMA. If you would like to contact the lawmaker, follow the instructions in the alert.
Thank you for your time,
Your Friends at Summit Racing Equipment
Oppose Federal Vehicle Scrappage Program
Our effort to prevent Congress from including a nationwide “Cash for Clunkers” program in the economic stimulus package has been successful – so far. Thousands of SEMA members and SEMA Action Network (SAN) enthusiasts contacted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in opposition to the plan. The Speaker’s Office informed us that your emails, calls and faxes were received and, thanks to your work, Cash for Clunkers was not included in the economic stimulus package introduced in mid-January in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, new legislation (S. 247 and H.R. 520) has been introduced in Congress to create a national vehicle scrappage program which will give U.S. tax dollars to consumers who turn-in their “gas guzzlers” to have them crushed. Lawmakers need to scrap this idea!
Contact Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) Immediately
to Oppose S. 247 and H.R. 520
The so-called “Accelerated Retirement of Inefficient Vehicles Act” is Cash for Clunkers with a twist. Instead of focusing exclusively on older cars, this program would target vehicles with low fuel economy ratings of any model year. Participants would receive cash vouchers ranging from $2,500 to $4,500 based on the model year and whether the replacement vehicle was a more fuel-efficient new car or used car (MY 2004 or later). Fuel-efficient is defined as getting at least 25 percent better mileage for the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target for its class. The bill sponsors want to scrap up to one million cars a year for at least four years.
There is no evidence that the program would achieve the goal of boosting new car sales or increasing fuel mileage. Many states have considered scrappage programs in the past as a way to help clean the air or increase mpg, but abandoned the effort because they simply don’t work. The programs are not cost-effective and do not achieve verifiable air quality or fuel economy benefits, but they do have a devastating impact on the many small businesses that market products and services for the scrapped cars.
Don’t Delay! Please contact Senator Diane Feinstein and Rep. Henry Waxman today to urge their opposition to S. 247 and H.R. 520. For those who responded to our first call for action, we need you again, along with everyone else.
Contact Sen. Dianne Feinstein to oppose S. 247
Click here to send an email: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/i…tactUs.EmailMe
Call: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
Contact Henry Waxman to oppose HR 520
Click here to send an email: http://energycommerce.house.gov/inde…=1313&Itemid=1
Call: (202) 225-2927
Fax: (202) 225-2525
Oppose the Use of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars for Accelerated Vehicle Retirement
- I am writing to urge lawmakers not to approve an “accelerated vehicle retirement” program. Even on a voluntary basis, the program will hurt thousands of independent repair shops, auto restorers, customizers and their customers across the country that depend on the used car market. These businesses are already very vulnerable in the weak economy.
- An accelerated vehicle retirement program is flawed since it does not target the “gross polluter,” an improperly maintained vehicle of any make or model year that has poor fuel mileage and dramatically more emissions due to poor maintenance.
- An accelerated vehicle retirement program is flawed because it does not factor-in how many miles-a-year the collected vehicles are currently being driven. U.S. taxpayers will be buying rarely-driven second and third vehicles that have minimal impact on overall fuel economy and air pollution.
- Accelerated vehicle retirement won’t generate many new car sales. The cash incentive provided will not be enough to enable a person to buy a new or used vehicle.
- Accelerated vehicle retirement will compete with nonprofits that rely on vehicle donations to raise funds, such as the Salvation Army, the Purple Heart and other charities.
- Accelerated vehicle retirement threatens to disrupt a large and complex industry which already handles scrappage, repair, remanufacturing and recycling issues. This independent industry provides thousands of American jobs and generates millions of dollars in local, state and federal tax revenues.
- Accelerated vehicle retirement ignores better policy options. Taxpayer dollars would be better spent as direct tax incentives to purchase a fuel-efficient new or used car, without a government vehicle crushing program. Congress should also provide tax incentives to upgrade, repair and maintain existing cars, trucks and SUVs. There are many commercially available products and technologies that can substantially improve fuel mileage and lower the emissions.
- We hope we can count on you to reject “Accelerated Vehicle Retirement.” Thank you for your consideration on this very important matter.
If you choose to send a note and/or message to Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Waxman please forward a copy of your message to:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s push for cleaner-running automobiles is being viewed as the clearest signal yet that he intends to regulate greenhouse gases.
In an ambitious assault on global warming, Obama on Monday directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider previous denials of applications bystates wanting to set their own limits on the amount of greenhouse gases allowed in truck and car exhaust.
For a decade, environmentalists and states have urged the federal government to limit tailpipe emissions — mostly carbon dioxide — that are blamed for global warming.
For almost as long, the Bush administration refused to use existing law to control greenhouse gases, despite increasing scientific evidence that the Earth is warming and court rulings that said the government has the authority to act.
Should the EPA grant California, 16 states and the District of Columbia permission to set a standard for reducing greenhouse gases from automobiles, experts say federal regulations will soon follow, then limits will be ordered for emissions from refineries and industrial plants.
“There is little question that this is heading in the direction of federal regulation of carbon dioxide,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University in New York City.
Greenhouse gases from automobiles currently are not regulated by the federal government, and the Bush administration opposed state efforts to set restrictions, despite requests dating back to 1999.
The Bush administration instead focused on improvements to fuel economy as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, since cars and trucks burning less fuel would generate less pollution.
On Monday, in a separate action, Obama directed the Transportation Department to set new fuel economy standards for 2011 model-year automobiles.
Both actions will reduce greenhouse gases but could put the states and the federal government on slightly different courses.
The federal Clean Air Act has always allowed states to set stricter standards than the federal government for refineries, factories and other stationary sources of pollution. However, it bars states from setting more stringent pollution standards for motor vehicles because of the problems it might cause automakers.
California’s standard, which requires a waiver from the EPA under the Clean Air Act, would require SUVs, minivans and cars starting in model year 2009 to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2016. To achieve the reductions, the fleetwide average for the state would have to be 35.7 miles per gallon by 2016, and 42.5 miles per gallon in 2020.
The 2007 energy bill signed into law by President George W. Bush set a 35 miles per gallon fuel economy target by 2020.
Industry representatives said if EPA grants the waiver it would trigger the agency to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The Bush administration refused to use the law, saying it was the wrong tool to address global warming and would cripple the economy.
“Such a move would put the EPA one step closer to making carbon dioxide ‘subject to regulation’ under the Act,” said William Kovacs, vice president of environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This would almost certainly extend well beyond cars and trucks.”
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia already have adopted or are considering adopting California’s standards. The states are Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Utah and Colorado.
Even if most of these states adopt the California standard, it will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by about 3 percent and worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by only 0.6 percent, according to a 2007 report by the Congressional Research Service.
Environmentalists already are pressing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases on other fronts, including emissions from ships and off-road vehicles, such as ATVs and snowmobiles.
On the Net:
EPA California Waiver Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/ca-waiver.htm