SEMA Urges Opposition to California “Fleet Modernization” Bill
Plan Would Offer Cash Incentives to Trade, Permanently Disable Older Vehicles
If you think the idea behind “Cash for Clunkers” is permanently dead and buried, think again. However, this time around, it’s being resurrected at the state level in California as part of the ongoing implementation of the activist California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The authors of the bill, led by Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and co-sponsored by assembly members Luis Alejo, Ken Cooley, Bill Dodd and Kevin McCarty, are seeking to “modernize” the overall California vehicle fleet. The authors of the bill note that California has an unusually high percentage of registered, operating vehicles more than 20 years old, considered “gross polluters” by environmental activists. The proponents of the bill claim that just 10 to 15 percent of the vehicles on California roads are responsible for more than 50 percent of smog-forming emissions.
The Specialty Market Equipment Association (SEMA) claims that many of these vehicles are not used on a daily basis but are hobby vehicles driven occasionally and on weekends and that any kind of scrappage program could dramatically reduce the number of available salvage parts for restoration and rebuilding. The specific provisions of Assembly Bill 1965 include cash rebates of between $1,000 and $1,500 to owners that voluntarily trade in vehicles identified as “gross polluters.” For low-income residents, an allowance of up to $2,500 would be made available toward the purchase of a newer, less-polluting vehicle.
The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) better known by its colloquial name “Cash for Clunkers” was a controversial program initiated by the Department of Transportation under the Obama administration in 2009. The program offered up to $4,500 cash to owners trading in a vehicle rated at less than 18 MPG. Under the program, engines were somewhat violently seized by the draining of oil and adding of sodium silicate to the crankcase. The glass-like solution would expand, abrade and ultimately seize the engine, ensuring that for all intents and purposes, it could not be rebuilt or salvaged. Dismantlers were then required to dispose of the engines under specific guidelines. Supporters of the program point to increased auto sales following the initiative, which the financially troubled auto industry desperately needed at the time.
To voice your opposition to A.B. 1965, visit this link at the SEMA Action Network page.
Source: SEMA, California State Legislature