“Cash for Clunkers,” a congressional effort to remove older, gas-guzzling cars from the road, is gaining traction on Capitol Hill, but remains controversial elsewhere, MSNBC reports. The plan would offer drivers a $4,500 voucher toward new, fuel-efficient cars in exchange for trading in their environmentally unfriendly vehicles. “There are more effective policies out there,” said one expert.
Such schemes have worked in Europe, but critics call the American version, which would apply to fewer than 5% of vehicles, too narrow. “The marginal benefit of participating in the program is less than clear,” one report concluded. The expert suggested lawmakers instead raise fuel economy standards, increase gas taxes, or develop low-carbon alternative fuels.