Turns out that while the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program may be a great economic stimulus for hurting car dealerships — it’s not a great way (or at least not a cheap way) to cut the nation’s carbon footprint.
This is from the New York Times blog Green Inc.:
“The program is really not cost effective as a climate policy,” said Michael Wara, who is an assistant professor at Stanford Law School and a faculty fellow at the university’s program on energy and sustainable development. “It might be a great economic stimulus — we’re selling a lot of cars — but this is not the way to deal with mobile sources of climate change.”
Mr. Wara found that the program cost between $200 to $400 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions avoided, and Mr. Knittel’s estimates went up to $500 per ton. By contrast, the climate bill recently passed in the House of Representatives would result in a $28 per ton carbon price in 2020, according to analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.
Read Green Inc.’s full post on the high carbon cost of the “Clunkers” program, or read a story by Alicia Wallace in the Daily Camera about how the program is giving a boost to Boulder County car dealers. Check out the government’s cash-for-clunkers Web page for more information about the program, officially called the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS.