Mal Occhio: Feinstein Kiboshes Cash for Clunkers. For Now.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I’m beginning to like the environment. First, the greens spiked Charles “Double Nickel” Hurley’s nomination for the top slot at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As we reported earlier, Hurley’s federal pension plans came a cropper for daring to suggest that larger cars were safer than fuel misers (at the IIHS, back in the day). Now, tree huggers have torpedoed the current cash-for-clunkers bill. Reuters reports that California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a friend of the Friends of the Earth, is not happy with the compromise cash-for-clunkers bill.

Here’s the [your] money shot from the lady who wrote the Senate version: “Essentially what it means is that perfectly good vehicles would be scrapped, so that vehicles with below average fuel economy could be purchased.” Yes way! It gets better.

Feinstein referred to the compromise as the “automobile industry’s version.”

“American taxpayers have already pledged $33 billion in bailout funds to this flagging industry — without any special considerations for achieving greater fuel economy,” Feinstein said. “This is unacceptable.”

By jove she’s right! This IS a boondoggle! The fact that Feinstein’s objection is that it’s not the RIGHT KIND of boondoggle troubles me not one bit. What was that about the friend of my enemy being my frenemy? Like that. Only where TTAC tilts at windmills at the margins, Diane gets the MSM to put up its metaphorical speed bumps and steamroller those suckers. Oh wait. She likes windmills. Anyway . . .

Under the House bill, owners of small trucks and SUVs face even a lower threshold than car owners to get a voucher. They could get a $3,500 voucher if their new vehicle gets at least 2 miles per gallon more than the old truck or SUV. The voucher increases to $4,500 for a difference of at least 5 miles per gallon. For larger trucks, the new truck only has to exceed the fuel efficiency of the old vehicle by 1 mile per gallon to generate a $3,500 voucher.

Robert Farago
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  • Runfromcheney Runfromcheney on May 14, 2009

    ttacfan: The current Focus is only built in the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant. Also a former Escort/Tracer plant.

  • KeithF KeithF on May 16, 2009

    If the greens and the GW people really cared about the environment, they should encourage the government to simply require the oil companies to raise their gas prices $1-2 themselves. The pricing signal to the market is the same with the same net result, but a lot quicker to implement and fewer systems to upgrade. If they don't want the nasty oil companies to have the money, require the gas station owners to do it and keep wholesale prices constant. Then "local small business owners" would get the insane profits and probably plow a lot of it back into their local economies across the nation. Why are usurious federal taxes automatically the answer? Oh wait, that's obvious. The point isn't to reduce oil consumption but to enrich the government. It's all about who gets the money and thus, who decides how it gets distributed out to their campaign supporters.

  • V16 I'm sure you could copy and paste most of the "NO" responses to 1960's Japanese sourced vehicles.
  • Canam23 I believe the Chinese are entirely capable of building good cars, BYD has shown that they are very forward thinking and their battery technology is very good, BUT, I won't buy one because I don't believe in close to slave labor conditions, their animosity to the west, the lack of safety conditions for their workers and also the tremendous amount of pollution their factories produce. It's not an equal playing field and when I buy a car I want it made with as little pollution as possible in decent working conditions and paying a livable wage. I find it curious that people are taking swipes at the UAW in this thread because you can clearly see what horrific labor conditions exist in China, no union to protect them. I also don't own an iphone, I prefer my phones made where there aren't nets around to catch possible suicide jumpers. I am currently living in France, Citroen makes their top model in China, but you see very few. BYD has yet to make an impression here and the French government has recently imposed huge tariffs on Chinese autos. Currently the ones I see the most are the new MG's, mostly electric cars that remind me of early Korean cars, but they are progressing. In fact, the French buy very little Chinese goods, they are very protective of their industries.
  • Jerry Haan I have these same lights, and the light output, color, and coverage is amazing!Be aware, these lights interfere with AM and FM radio reception with the stereoreceiver I have in my garage. When the lights are on, I all the AM stations havelots of static, and there are only a couple of FM stations that are clear. When Iturn the lights off, all the radio stations work fine. I have tried magnetic cores on the power cords of the lights, that did not makeany change. The next thing I am going to try is mounting an antenna in my atticto get them away from the lights. I contacted the company for support, they never responded.
  • Lou_BC Are Hot Wheels cars made in China?
  • DS No for 2 reasons. 1-Every new car pipelines data back to the manufacturer; I don't like it with domestic, Japanese and Euro companies and won't put up with it going to Chinese companies that are part financed by their government. 2-People have already mentioned Vinfast, but there's also the case of Hyundai. Their cars were absolutely miserable for years before they learned enough about the US market