Cash for Clunkers: An Environmental Thought Experiment


It seems as if people are having trouble deciding if having the CARS program blowing through a billion dollars in a week is a good thing or a bad thing. We wanted to look at what has happened from an environmental standpoint.

Because the specifics of all of the cars traded and sold are obviously out of our reach at the moment (as well as the government’s, it seems), let’s just calculate the absolute minimal environmental difference the $1 billion made. Because consumers could take advantage of the CARS program as long as they traded in a car that got a combined fuel economy of less than 18 mpg for one that got an EPA rating of 4 mpg more than the trade-in, we’ll use only that example.

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Cash for Clunkers: An Environmental Thought Experiment