Get Paid To Dump Your Gas-Guzzler

Congress votes on bill that will pay drivers to get more fuel efficient cars

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    NEWSLETTERS

    David McNew
    To thin out emissions coming from the nation's highways, the Energy and Commerce Committee is pushing a "cash for clunkers" bill to be voted on today.

    It might pay to go green.

    Congress votes today on a "cash for clunkers" bill that would pay any driver who ditches their emission-spewing vehicle for a greener car, the AP reports.

    "The multiple goals of helping consumers purchase more fuel efficient vehicles, improving our environment and boosting auto sales can be achieved," said the chief sponsor of the bill, Rep. Betty Sutton D-Ohio.

    President Obama backs the House Energy and Commerce Commission's proposed bill and sees it as an opportunity to prop up the failing auto industry.  Last week, as GM continued through bankruptcy court, Obama encouraged lawmakers to "provide a credit to consumers who turn in old cars and purchase cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars, CNN reported.

    Under the proposed bill, any vehicle getting under 18 miles per gallon is fair game, and depending on how big a change consumers make, they could get a voucher of up to $4,500 toward a new car.

    Despite the environmental tag, some say the bill could create waste. 

    Aaron Lowe of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association said in a May 20 press release that "scrapped vehicles will be heading to landfills." He added that a "tremendous amount of energy and resources will be exhausted to build new vehicles to replace the scrapped ones.

    Other opponents include a group of senators who say the bill makes it too easy to cash in.  They point out that a driver could swap his 14-mile-per-gallon Hummer for an more efficient SUV and save $3,000. They want an alternative version of the bill.

    The bill is to be voted on Tuesday.