Thursday, May 21, 2009

Morning Sentinel: Mainers mull 'Cash for Clunkers'

from the Morning Sentinel:
Rich Rapisardi drives a 10-year-old Chevrolet Tahoe with 189,000 miles on it and gets 16 miles per gallon.

The Scarborough resident said that although the SUV has been trustworthy, he wouldn't hesitate to turn it in if he was going to be handed $4,500 toward a new vehicle that got at least 23 mpg.

"It's a terrific offer," Rapisardi said.

Rapisardi was reacting to the latest version of the "cash for clunkers" proposal now making its way through Congress. On Wednesday, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., came up with a more rigorous version of a proposal agreed to in the House last week.

The senators say that their version will save even more fuel and cut more emissions by requiring that the replacement vehicle receive above-average fuel economy for its class and the trade-in have a maximum fuel economy of 17 mpg, compared to the 18 mpg proposed in the House.

The senators are pushing their proposal as Congress works to create a vouchers program to entice consumers to trade in their gas guzzlers for vehicles that are more fuel-efficient. The measures are designed to get better cars on the road while boosting auto sales.

The senators say their version would save 11,451 barrels of oil a day, compared to 8,706 barrels a day saved under the House version; and 176 gallons of gas per vehicle a year, compared to 133 gallons under the House measure.

They say their proposal also would cut 1.91 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, compared to 1.45 million cut in the House version.


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