Sierra Club Launches Online Guide to Cash for Clunkers Program

The Sierra Club wants to help you trade up and get a cleaner, newer ride. They've launched a new online calculator to help drivers "understand the environmental and economic benefits of making the right vehicle purchasing decisions under the federal government's new Car Allowance Rebate System." The Club also took it upon themselves to highlight some standout fuel efficient vehicles. The calculator compares the fuel savings and global warming emission reductions benefits of many new models. Users can input the fuel economy of their current car or truck, the fuel economy of a newer model, and their annual miles driven. Out comes the annual savings on gas and the annual reduction in heat trapping emissions.

Says the Club:

"Our online guide can help consumers choose a vehicle that gives a boost to both the economy and our environment," said Ann Mesnikoff, Director of Sierra Club’s Green Transportation Campaign. "Choosing the right new vehicle will save money at the pump, cut dependence on oil, reduce carbon emissions, and help the auto industry."

How Cash for Clunkers Works
Drivers of older vehicles will get $4,500 vouchers if the new car they are eyeing gets at least 10 miles-a-gallon better gas mileage than the model of their current ride. For light truck owners, the improvement must be at least 5 mpg better than the older truck, and for large light trucks, at least 2 mpg.

The program has drawn mixed reactions. Obviously, the Sierra Club approves. But others remain skeptical especially when one considers that under the program it's possible to get a $4,500 voucher for a new truck that is only 2 mpg more efficient. than your old one. That's not a good trade off if you consider the energy required to produce the new vehicle.

More on Cash for Clunkers:
"Cash for Clunkers" Gets Green Light In House Committee
Cash for Clunkers Passes - Auto Industry Saved? Blue Skies Ahead?