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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2009

SCHUMER: "CASH FOR CLUNKERS" PLAN NOW SUPPORTED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA COULD TAKE MANY OF UPSTATE NEW YORK'S 280,000 GAS GUZZLING CARS OFF HIGHWAYS AND ROADS; SAVE NY'ERS THOUSANDS ON THE PURCHASE OF A MORE FUEL EFFICIENT CAR


Schumer Plan Provides Cash to Upstate New Yorkers to Swap Old Inefficient Cars for Newer, Fuel Efficient Models; Will Help New Yorkers Save Money on Gas, Jumpstart Auto Industry and Car Dealers

Approximately 280,000 Cars on the Road in Upstate New York Today Would Be Eligible For Trade-In

President Obama Endorsed "Cash for Clunkers" Concept on Monday

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced Administration support for his legislation to create a national voucher program, known as “Cash for Clunkers” that would enable and encourage Upstate New York drivers to trade in their older, less fuel efficient cars, trucks and SUVs for more fuel efficient vehicles. Schumer’s legislation, endorsed on Monday by President Barack Obama, provides consumers who turn in an inefficient vehicle with a cash voucher that can be used to purchase a more energy efficient car or redeemed for transit fares with participating local public transportation agencies. There are approximately 280,000 cars on the road in Upstate New York that would qualify for the “Cash for Clunkers” program.
 
"This is a great program that will help remove thousands of gas-guzzling, polluting cars, trucks and SUVs from Upstate New York highways and roadways and replace them with better, more fuel efficient vehicles,” said Schumer. “This is a smart investment in our nation’s economic and environmental future that will also help jumpstart the struggling car industry.”
 
Senator Schumer’s legislation would accelerate the removal of the most inefficient cars, trucks and SUVs from the road today and promote the purchase of more efficient vehicles. The legislation, the Accelerated Retirement of Inefficient Vehicles Act (ARIVA) or, as it is more commonly referred to, the “Cash for Clunkers Program” provides consumers who turn in an inefficient vehicle with a rebate of up to $4,500 to put towards the purchase of a car with a fuel efficiency of at least 25 percent better than the current CAFE standard for the class of car purchased. The traded-in vehicles must have a fuel economy of no more than 18 miles per gallon and be in drivable condition. There are approximately 280,000 cars in Upstate New York that meet this standard, according to Schumer’s analysis of data provided by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). In the Cash for Clunkers program, vouchers can also be redeemed for transit fares for participating local public transportation agencies. The program would operate for four years, from 2009 – 2012, and is expected to encourage the early retirement of 800,000 vehicles nationally per year. 
 
On Monday, President Barack Obama said he would work with lawmakers to create a program like “Cash for Clunkers” that would offer a financial incentive to individuals that traded in their older cars for newer, cleaner ones. Similar programs have been proposed by Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH) in the House. However, Schumer’s bill, introduced with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), has bipartisan support and has no minimum age requirement for trade-in cars or maximum income requirement for households wishing to take part in the program, opening the program to thousands more Upstate New Yorkers.
 
Under the legislation proposed by Schumer, the amount of the voucher varies according to the age of the car being traded in, ranging from $2,500 for cars built in 1998 and earlier to as much as $4,500 for cars built in 2002 and later. In addition, under Schumer’s bill, $1,000 will be added to the voucher for the purchase of vehicles that exceed the relevant fuel economy standard by 50 percent or more. The legislation also allows the consumer to purchase a used vehicle and still receive a voucher, provided that the overall mileage targets are met, making it even easier for families to increase their fuel efficiency and take advantage of the program.
 
By trading in a car that gets a maximum of 18 miles per gallon for a more fuel efficient car that gets 35 miles per gallon, the average Upstate New York family would save $1,140 a year in fuel expenses and $5,720 over five years.
 
Senator Schumer said today that he believes the Cash for Clunkers program will help jumpstart demand for cars in an industry that has suffered throughout the economic downturn. While the Schumer bill does not require that cars purchased with vouchers be manufactured in the United States or made by U.S. companies, many of the qualifying models are manufactured in the United States. According to the ACEEE, similar program instituted in Germany increased demand for automobiles by as much as 20 percent.
 
In Upstate New York there approximately 280,000 cars that likely qualify for the program.
 
Here is how the numbers break down across the state:
 
·        There are approximately 35,800 cars on the road in the Capital Region that would qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.
·        There are approximately 32,200 cars on the road in the Central New York that would qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.
·        There are approximately 85,900 cars on the road in the Hudson Valley that would qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.
·        There are approximately 17,500 cars on the road in the North Country that would qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.
·        There are approximately 39,500 cars on the road in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region that would qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.
·        There are approximately 21,800 cars on the road in the Southern Tier that would qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.
·        There are approximately 48,400 cars on the road in the Western New Yorkthat would qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.
 
Sharp fluctuations in gas prices and tight household budgets are causing many consumers to rethink their vehicle preferences, while automakers are paying more attention to the fuel economy of their offerings than they have before. The federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have recently been raised requiring that average new car and light truck fuel economy increases by at least 40 percent to 35 miles per gallon or more by 2020. The benefit of increases in fuel economy will not be realized for many years unless measures are implemented to incentivize the purchase of a fuel efficient car.
 
Schumer added, “Investing in efficient cars today will result in a smarter, cleaner environment tomorrow.”
 
 

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