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New Bill Passed!!!

solid101solid101 Member Posts: 12
edited March 2014 in Audi
http://www.speedoptions.com/news_headline.asp had just post the latest bill signed by the senates on the issue about to retire classic cars along with other junks, this is a matter that should concern all car hobbyists, please read the article carefully, if A-6, C130 and M113 and alike are still good enough to serve at front line, what's the point to retire a few well-maintain cars which are also the living proof of American history? As for Imports,

a '86 Ferrari are still quite attractive and fun might be force off the road as well, this might also affect the 2nd hand car market, my

'89 Accord still runs well and serves as the back up car now, but once the bill is passed, it's as good as dead, please think about the possible outcomes and discuss it.


  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    at the risk of being pilloried, I find it hard to get my knickers in a twist over scrappage programs. I suppose it's because I'm not trying to restore a 1985 Toyota truck or something similar.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Am I missing something here?

    It sounds like this is an incentive program whereby an owner of an old junk heap can get money for it and use the cash as they please, hopefully to buy a more fuel efficient car.

    I do not see anywhere where the police come to your house and seize your classic car, or where Ralph Nader forces you to buy an electric car at gunpoint.

    I also cannot imagine anyone but a certified dingbat junking a 60s era muscle car, or any of the old cars mentioned in this "alert", for the incentive money.

    Whoever wrote that petition really needs to learn to stop writing hysterical prose. Their credibility goes right down the drain. Verrryyy bad PR! This makes me want to support the incentives even more, not fight them.

    Actually, this program sounds pretty good if you read it carefully.

    For one thing, you have to be the registered owner, and also you can't turn in more than one car a year. So no dirty dealing going on, or car-junking epidemic. But if you are a non-profit, you can junk as many cars as you like, so charities make out on that.

    Also, if you junk an old beater and then buy a fuel efficient car, they give you MORE money for that. So not only are these old death traps off the road but it stiumlates the new car economy.

    I think old car buffs are being pretty short-sighted and selfish here, even though I know their hearts may be in the right place as far as cars go. But not as far as people go, IMO.

    I did a story about this some years ago when I think it was Atlantic Richfield did an experimental program (financed it themselves). I went to the yard where the cars were being turned in. These "operative" cars were frightening, simply frightening. I honestly didn't see anything of value being scrapped...okay, maybe a hubcap here and a tail light lens there, but these weren't classics or collectibles, just old 4-door clunkers and rusted out coupes that were totally trashed.

    PS: If you want to know what's wrong with America, read the COMMENTS at the bottom. Nobody read the freakin' bill! They are all hysterical. They think it's mandatory and the government is out to take their car away! Unbelievable....3 or 4 got it but the rest didn't.

    Well, of course it's voluntary, that's why they call it an "incentive".
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    SEMA sounds like a lively group, raring to go. I'll join as soon as I put the gun rack on my pickup.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    More like spinning their wheels than rarin' to go if you ask me. Leave the gun, bring a word processor.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    I don't understand why the laws requiring a car to pass a safety inspection is not enforced.

    While I understand part of the rationale for the bill, the risk of a bill like this is it gets the camel's nose under the tent. Like gun control, they start with an inch, and then want the whole enchilada.

    It will have an impact on the parts availability for the collector car market, as people will donate a lot of old cars to charities who have no limitation on the number junked.

    I also disagree with using tax dollars for this type of social engineering. If they want to get unsafe cars off the road, start inspecting them rather than passing the buck to the taxpayers.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Yes, from the tone of the comments I did see the analogy to gun control.

    I don't live in a state with an inspection program but I'd imagine that the taxpayer/consumer ends up paying for it no matter how it's structured, either with tax dollars or by paying fees. The idea behind these programs is that unsafe, low-mpg cars already cost society money in a number of ways: smog, property damage, injuries and deaths. Pay someone to take one off the road and you may be money ahead.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    I'm a SEMA member (sans the gun rack), so I get regular monthly updates on pending legislation throughout the US. Enthusiasts have helped to amend or defeat many such proposals over the years, and kudos to SEMA for keeping the flame lit.

    The problem lies not in getting gross polluters and unsafe vehicles off the highway -- that's a good thing, and something that we all agree should be done. The problem is when overzealous politicians, backed by insurance companies, add verbiage that prevents classic cars from being restored by scrapping (not recovering) their parts. Also, if the entire chassis is destroyed, it not only prevents the original car from being restored, it means that none of its parts can be used for other classic cars who may be in the process of restoration or need replacement parts after being involved in an accident.

    One of SEMA's most compelling points is that classic cars add extremely little pollution, due in part to their small numbers and also to the fact that they tend to be much better maintained than the average family car. Instead of a scrappage program, a well-regulated vehicle inspection program would serve the same purpose without any of the disadvantages to enthusiasts.

    One final note -- old cars are cheaper by nature, and there are a lot of people who simply can't afford to drop 24 large on a new Regal or Camry. These people need cars they can afford to buy and maintain, and poorly written scrappage bills fail to take these people into account.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think if SEMA wants support, it is imperative that it cease the distortion and hysteria of petitions like this. Who writes this stuff, people abducted by aliens? They have grossly misrepresented the facts, and seem to pander to mob mentality. Look at all the misunderstanding they created in the "comments" section. Those folks don't have a clue about the real bill at hand, do they? They think the government is going to take their uncle's Camaro away! Great, that's just wonderful public education.

    This program is completely voluntary! If a person wants to get rid of his clunker and get some cash, then what business is that of SEMA? Obviously, the poor person doesn't want a bad car anymore than you do.

    This is just such typical dreary and predictable anti-government rant...."oh, they (who are THEY?) want to take our classic (what CLASSICS--1978 rusted out Buick Skyhawks?)

    What a crock! What a waste of time (I'll agree with you there).

    It should be pretty obvious to ANY car enthusiast that any 70s or 80s American car that is bad enough to be scrapped is certainly not worth the cost of restoration, and that any car worth saving will be saved. I sincerely doubt that any member of SEMA has ever restored a rusted out 1978 Skyhawk. Why would they?

    Last of all, the argument that this threatens the old car hobby is totally specious, since the old car hobby was built on the concept of scarcity giving value to the old cars. Old cars were scrapped in huge numbers in the 40s (wartime salvage) 50s and 60s, and yet we have tons of these old cars left. There are MILLIONS of 70s and 80s cars around. They won't suddenly disappear because the worst of them are scrapped for $700 or some such amount. The good will survive, same as always.

    If you were to preserve the nearly worthless cars of the 70s and 80s, they would only be worth even less in the future, with so many of them around. If you doubt this, look at the difference in values between 1958 Corvettes and 1978 Corvettes.

    Those few worthwhile models in the 70s and 80s will be saved regardless, because they have value now.

    A 1977 Buick Century now has a Kelley Blue Book wholesale value of $750. Does SEMA really think this car will ever be worth anything in the future, having failed to bring more than $750 after 25 years? This polluting rusted out heap is a classic car?

    I'm as big a car nut as anybody, and I see no threat whatsoever to the classic car hobby. If anything, it will give old cars a better name.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    But I agree with Shifty that virtually all the comments on the SEMA site show a real lack of clear thinking and a reluctance to read and understand the issues.

    I guess the idea is to scare the whee out of some state assemblyman, but if that's a representative cross-section of the old car hobby then I'll be armed the next time I go to a car show.

    I will say I'm also part of an industry with a huge lobby that raises its voice now and then, and very effectively. All we hear from them is that our livelihood is in danger and that we need to lean on our Congressperson. They're a little light on the details even when the issue is complex, and of course they're anything but objective. SEMA isn't breaking new ground here.

    But solid101 doesn't do SEMA any favors by coming in here with an hysterical, poorly reasoned and poorly typed posting. He's probably on SEMA's government affairs committee and doing his job the best he can but he needs a quick course in how to get the word out.
  • solid101solid101 Member Posts: 12

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- The Secretary shall establish a program, to be known as the `National Motor Vehicle Efficiency Improvement Program,' under which the Secretary shall provide grants to States to operate programs to offer owners of passenger automobiles and light-duty trucks manufactured in model years more than 15 years prior to the fiscal year in which appropriations are made under subsection (d) to provide financial incentives to scrap such automobiles and to replace them with automobiles with higher fuel efficiency.

    (b) STATE PLAN- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of an appropriations act containing funds authorized under subsection (d), to be eligible to receive funds under the program, the Governor of a State shall submit to the Secretary a plan to carry out a program under this subtitle in that State.

    (c) ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA- The Secretary shall approve a State plan and provide the funds under subsection (d), if the State plan--

    (1) requires that all passenger automobiles and light-duty trucks turned in be scrapped;
    (2) requires that all passenger automobiles and light-duty trucks turned in be currently registered in the State in order to be eligible;
    (3) requires that all passenger automobiles and light-duty trucks turned in be operational at the time that they are turned in;
    (4) restricts automobile owners (except not-for-profit organizations) from turning in more than one passenger automobile and one light-duty truck in a 12-month period;
    (5) provides an appropriate payment to the person recycling the scrapped passengerautomobile or light-duty truck for each turned-in passenger automobile or light-duty truck;
    (6) provides a minimum payment to the automobile owner for each passenger automobile and light-duty truck turned in; and
    (7) provides, in addition to the payment under paragraph (6), an additional credit that may be redeemed by the owner of the turned-in passenger automobile or light-duty truck at the time of purchase of new fuel-efficient automobile.

    (d) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary, to remain available until expended.

    (e) ALLOCATION FORMULA- The amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (d) shall be allocated among the States on the basis of the population of the States as contained in the most recent reliable census data available from the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce, for all States at the time that the Secretary needs to compute shares under this subsection.

    (f) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

    (1) AUTOMOBILE- The term `automobile' has the meaning given such term in section 32901(3) of title 49, United States Code.
    (2) Fuel-efficient automobile-

    (A) The term `fuel-efficient automobile' means a passenger automobile or a light-duty truck that has an average fuel economy greater than the average fuel economy standard prescribed pursuant to section 32902 of title 49, United States Code, or other law, applicable to such passenger automobile or light-duty truck.
    (B) The term `average fuel economy' has the meaning given such term in section 32901(5) of title 49, United States Code.
    (C) The term `average fuel economy standard' has the meaning given such term in section 32901(6) of title 49, United States Code.
    (D) The term `fuel economy' has the meaning given such term in section 32901(10) of title 49, United States Code.

    (3) LIGHT-DUTY TRUCK- The term `light-duty truck' means an automobile that is not a passenger automobile. Such term shall include a pickup truck, a van, or a four-wheel-drive general utility vehicle, as those terms are defined in section 600.002-85 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.
    (4) PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE- The term `passenger automobile' has the meaning given such term by section 32901(16) of title 49, United States Code.
    (5) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Energy.
    (6) STATE- The term `State' means any of the several States and the District of Columbia.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, okay now....mo' betta way to look at the Bill....thanks!

    Reading it over, it seems fine to me. I notice item #5 says that the person "recycling" the vehicle is also paid. So the owner gets paid, the recycler gets paid, and if the owner buys a fuel efficient vehicle, he gets paid again. Also, I presume that the recycler gets to resell the parts he takes off? If so, then SEMA really doesn't have an argument on any level. If the govmint requires that the vehicle be literally "recycled", that is, all parts melted or shredded, then yes, I do see where some parts on some cars will be lost. Whether those parts are of any value to "collectible" cars is quite debatable.

    Anyway, let's presume this program is a whopping success and 10% of all old cars are scrapped, being worth less than the grant money. If they were worth more than the grant money, nobody would turn them in, right? Then let's presume these 10% are totally scrapped and no parts are saved (again, this might not be true). Then let's presume that 10% of that 10% are collectible cars in some fashion. So what you have is a 1% loss of parts cars.

    What's the gripe here? Who is actually an aggrieved party? All I see is winners:

    owner wins
    recycler wins
    people who buy recycled metal win
    if owner buys a fuel efficient car, he wins again
    asthmatics win
    loss to collector car market is minimal.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    is allowed to resell the recovered parts, I see nothing wrong with it at all -- nor should SEMA. In fact, since SEMA stands for "Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association" and many of its members remanufacture parts for old cars, you would think that it would be in their own self-interest to see as many old cars destroyed as possible.

    As you say, more heat than light -- but that's the nature of advocacy, isn't it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Advocacy is often passionate, yes, but good advocacy has got its facts straight. You won't see Ralph Nader getting his facts wrong, even if you don't agree with the conclusions he makes from those facts. But the numbers are A-1 in his research.

    There's a difference between persuading and misleading.
  • mminerbimminerbi Member Posts: 88
    As usual you make some excellent points, Shiftright. Your comments about the Atlantic Richfield experiment were particularly interesting to me, since I never read an account about the condition of the cars that were actually scrapped under that program. Nevertheless, I also agree with the comments expressed by jsylvester and badtoy in their respective messages #6 and #8. History suggests that well intentioned social engineering programs often yield unintended side effects and negative tradeoffs, sometimes for reasons that were not apparent when the initiatives were enacted. Further, there is the risk that this bill could be highjacked by special interest lobbies or inept politicians, perhaps in the future if not at conception.

    I believe the marketplace, in conjunction with safety inspections, is the best arbiter of when cars should be scrapped. Further, I do not accept the notion that everyone wins with this bill. For example, taxpayers could be net losers, as could some of the working poor. One could therefore argue that there could be more losers than winners. For these reasons, I subscribe to the notion of "better the devil you know than the one you don't know" on this bill.

    Finally, on more than one occasion in recent years both the French and Italian governments sponsored incentive programs to persuade owners of older cars to trade them in on new ones. Has anyone read objective accounts about how these programs fared?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I just can't grasp your logic here...I'm trying, though.

    How can poor people lose if they are turning in totally despicable wretched worthless cars? The incentives are never a LOT of money, we already know this. What could it be, $500-$1,000 at most? So poor people aren't dummies. They are not going to junk a perfectly good car for $1,000 because they know they can't buy a perfectly good car for $1,000.

    The only special interest group I see here is SEMA, and unless SEMA is concocting one of those Commie-Amish-Pope in Rome conspiracy theories, I think they are just trying to create artifical Boogie men to sabotage this so as to get you to support their paranoia.

    The thing is so simple. You wanna scrap your piece of crap old car, then scrap it and here's $500 bucks. You don't want to, you don't have to.
    This isn't gun control, or bussing. This is 100% voluntary. It's like recycling your coke bottles.

    So, okay, what feasible, plausible thing can go wrong here?
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    I'm kind of two minds on issues like this. I see the point (and the lack of real cost) of crushing junk...on the other hand the laws of unintended consequences in terms of 'social engineering' are not trifling on occasion.

    I'd be happier if the *real* environmental and social cost could be built into the cost of items (and activities I guess) as best as could be estimated.

    For example....

    Rather than charging to throw tires away, there should be a cost tacked onto new tires sales which is then recouped when thrown away. This would encourage proper disposal and put the real cost on the tire consumer. (It amazes me how many old tires you can run into when out and about).

    Nukes should have the entire decommissioning cost built into the electricity rate structure and the money should be held in a separate account.

    Cars should be taxed yearly for the amount of pollution actually emitted. Visual inspection is stupid and just reflects cheaping out on analysis equipment. Simply measure the physical output of pollutants over time, assign a dollar value, charge the owner that much. The percentage of pollution is immaterial.

    The tire concept could be applied to cars. If there really is a cost to automobiles to everyone on the backend (due to safety, pollution or some other issue), charge that amount (like a bottle deposit) on purchase, retrieve that amount on final disposal.

    Most road construction expense should be generated from fuel taxes (there being a nice kind of proportionality there). Since everyone benefits from transport systems (not just drivers) it would make some sense to pull some of the money from a general budget.

    "So, okay, what feasible, plausible thing can go wrong here? "

    A problem I can see with scrappage concepts is that the money is coming from somewhere (I feel my wallet tugging) and I'll bet is fraught with strange backroom deal-making in terms of pollution credits, desires to sell new cars to replace old ones, etc. If the money were collected up front, I would be %100 in favor of the concept. As it is, the involuntary part is the funding angle.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    But junk cars have their own social costs. We pay one way or another. The only question is which has less costs, social engineering or the market. It sounds great to just let the market do its thing, but there's plenty of behind-the-scenes deal making there too.

    How do you guys feel about the New Deal? ;-)
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    Nothing new.
    If you think this hasn't been tried, you're wrong.
    This kind of thing never makes it to the house.
    There are way too many big names and companies who will put a large amount of resources, which includes lobbyists to keep it from ever getting past the house. Who ever wrote that is just trying to get a rise out of folks.
    It'll never happen, because too many people would be affected, the govt won't put out money to compensate them and because of that, they'd be in a war of constitutional rights pertaining to siezure of your property, which has already been an issue on that kind of bill.
    It may become a reality one day if all the do gooder enviromentalists that take the bus everywhere have their way.
    And as far as SEMA advocating that, they'd be cutting their own throat. The same people that support SEMA are the same people that work on and drive those same vehicles.
    I own a 70 3/4 ton 4x4 and will never part with it. I don't care what laws they make or decide.
    It is mine, I totally restored it and there is no way they can tell me that I can't have it.
    And as far as that coming from SEMA, I have serious doubts about that. Although, I'll have to check with a source to see.
  • mminerbimminerbi Member Posts: 88
    You're right, Shiftright; I erred in categorizing the working poor as net losers from this Bill.
    I stand by my other points, however.

    Also, I agree with ndance, to the extent that if the costs associated with pollution, safety, and recycling were to be addressed through legislation, then a front end tax would be preferable to the proposed Bill, for the reasons he cited.
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    "I'll give up my 70 3/4 ton 4x4 when you take it from my cold, dead hands.".

    Kinda catchy, don't ya think?

    That's based on the mumble mumble Amendment to the Constitution.

    Honestly, all it would take would be Japanese-style safety inspection and licensing expenses and those 2003 Chevy trucks would start looking mighty good. I think it's pretty unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,681
    how much of a pollution credit do these companies get per car for taking them off the streets? Does it vary by car? For example, a ragged-out Cadillac 500 is going to put out more pollutants than a relatively well-maintained Dart slant six!

    Let's suppose I let them have my '68 Dart, which has gone maybe 3000 miles in the last 4 years, if that. I'm sure by the time they expelled the energy to scrap it or do whatever with it, plus the corresponding amount of pollution they would be allowed to generate in exchange for taking my menace to society off the road, Mother Earth would still be a lot better off if I just held onto the damn thing and drove it occasionally. I'd be giving them a car that hardly ever gets used, and therefore hardly ever pollutes, and giving them free reign to spew God-only-knows-what into the atmosphere. That's actually adding to pollution, not reducing it.

    Even if I depended on that Dart for daily transportation, I don't think scrapping it and getting a new car would help the environment that much. Not only would some factory be given free reign to pollute, but somebody's got to build that new car for me. And a by-product of that creation is going to be pollution. And when it's time to replace THAT car, just think of the problem with all those plastics, alloys, etc, that aren't going to just break down and return to the Earth like good old fashioned steel and iron did. Heck, years down the road when my Intrepid dies, I might actually be doing the environment a favor by driving my Dart again, instead of buying another brand-new car! ;-)
  • 0patience0patience Member Posts: 1,712
    Actually, after reading the article from the link here and the article on SEMA and trying to locate any info on it anywhere else, the article on SEMA says the bill is going to the house and has NOT been passed yet.
    The one person who would have the best insight on it, is on vacation. So I am withholding any validity of this until then.
  • mminerbimminerbi Member Posts: 88
    Excellent points, andre1969!
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    haven't heard anyone define SEMA's motivation in trying to defeat this bill.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Seems obvious to me what the motivation is.

    Okay, so what I see here is, for one thing, some objection to tax dollars being used to fund this....that is the "involuntary part". Okay, that's a good objection.

    Regarding building in the cost of pollution--were this actually done across the board, and done ACCURATELY, assessing TRUE environmental costs, many items we now consume would be so expensive we might not buy them (like gasoline). In effect, our governments and corporations have been making heavy withdrawals from Mother Nature for some time now and not paying her back. What seems to be in order along with some of these clever "pollution taxes" would be changes in lifestyle. Another subject!

    I don't see polluting" as a right that you can pay for, since I don't want you polluting even if you paid for it. So the pollution credits is a troubling concept. I need to think more about that one.

    Ultimately, I don't have an issue with giving up things for society if a serious situation requires it, as long as this is done lawfully and equitably. I've give up my old car or truck but I want two things: some compensation for my property, and two, assurance that some fat cat's old truck is also taken from him. We don't have horses crapping in the streets anymore or slop buckets tossed out windows. So maybe one day old cars and truck have to go.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    But you still didn't answer my question.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You mean about SEMA? I can see a number of motivations, both economic and poltical.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I don't want to get into politics because most people can't handle it. But economics, it seems to be that SEMA members (or leadership) is worried about their livelihood a lot more than about old cars.

    So what I was driving at is that I see the ulterior motive of SEMA but I don't see the "other side's" plot to destroy old cars. I can't imagine what benefit some group out there would derive from smashing up people's old cars.

    I'm for anything that would take a dangerous or polluting car off the road, but if it isn't dangerous or polluting then leave them be.

    No one should be driving gross polluters or dangerous cars, and voluntary scrapping could alleviate this. If not, you don't have to take people's cars away, just make the folks take them off the road and fix them. People need to be responsible for their actions, rich or poor.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    That's why a well-regulated inspection program is far superior in my view to a scrappage program. Of course, look at what California did with OBD-II.

    Conspiracy theories aside, politicians don't just pass laws they think are designed for the good of the commonwealth -- they frequently support them on the basis of campaign contributions and political power grabs. I am far more skeptical of politicians than I am of business organizations, because I know why businesses do what they do -- but not always our representatives.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,520
    Is what some people are worried about. That is, once the "voluntary" plan gets going, the "environazis" expand it, until the evil govt. tow truck is coming for your 1969 GTO (or whatever). Someone mentioned the Japanese safety/pollution laws. If I recall what I've read, isn't it financially almost impossible to have a car more than about 5 years old in Japan? I think they ship them all to other countries.

    Frankly, after seeing the smoke pouring out of some of the bombers on the road, this plan sounds like a good idea. Problem is, most of the people driving this crap either won't give it up, or will take the $700, and spend $300 on something just as bad.

    Why can't the police pull over obvious gross polluters, and require an emmissions test within x days or the car gets yanked?

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    require more frequent testing of older cars -- especially those made prior to modern fuel injection and emissions systems. And mandate
    a straight "tailpipe" test -- none of this stupid OBD-II stuff where it doesn't matter how clean it is -- they fail you if the equipment isn't 100% OEM.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    stickguy, if I may ask, where is this paranoia coming from? When have you ever seen or heard of a bona fide environmental group target old cars specifically? Which group? When? Where? This sounds like a very wild projection from a voluntary buy-back program to police seizing private property, as well as corporate propaganda against citizen groups who might hurt corporate profits.

    If you want to be a good and vigilant citizen, and genuinely afraid of something, read the present administration's proposed new anti-terrorist laws. They'll cost you more than your 1969 GTO.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    they may save your life and those of your family too. Everything in perspective, please.....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I don't see the perspective at all there. Its all fear-based, not rational, just like the SEMA hysteria. There are all the laws you need already on the books. Isn't this, after all, the gun lobby argument, that we have all the laws we need already for gun control? Same with anti-terrorism.

    Pollution laws, however, maybe could use strengthening (obviously, since things are getting worse and worse). So we could look at ways of helping that along.

    Don't go where Fear tells you to go is my motto for any healthy view of the boundaries of good government. Let reason and solid data guide you, not boogie-men.
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    Working in state government (the Pennsylvania Senate, to be exact), I can see where the paranoia on the part of SEMA and old-car enthusiasts is coming from. Our office receives press releases from environmental organizations on a variety of subjects, including air pollution. Believe me, many of those press release are even MORE hysterical in tone than the SEMA alert. Read some of them, and you'd think people were dropping dead on the streets of most American cities. Granted, many environmental groups don't bother singling out old cars. They hate all cars, period. And yes, they would happily confiscate vehicles (although they would never come out and say so. You have to read between the lines). These groups seemed to have missed the dramatically improved air quality in our country (which will only continue to get better as the vehicle fleet turns over). Our air is probably the cleanest it has been in the last 150 years.

    I have no doubt that SEMA members are concerned about their livelihood. Nothing wrong with that; modifying and hot rodding cars is a good profession. For that matter, many environmental groups have figured out that alarmist predictions - with a tad of junk science thrown in for good measure - is an excellent way to keep the donations rolling into the office. And yes, politicians do respond to their predictions.

    The simple fact is that this type of program is a waste of taxpayer money. Through the original federal Clean Air Acts and the various amendments added over the years, combined with advances in technology, we're successfully tackling the pollution problem.

    And as for horses crapping on the streets - I grew up in Amish country. The local supermarket even had a place for the Amish to tether their horses! I'm used to seeing the occasional pile of horse manure in the street. Everyone in my town not only survived, but thrived; I think we can survive the few old cars and trucks plying our highways. Just as very few people want to ride around in horse and buggies, very few people want to drive an old car or truck on a daily basis.
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    "Pollution laws, however, maybe could use strengthening (obviously, since things are getting worse and worse)."

    Actually, things are getting better and better, and will continue to get better as the vehicle fleet turns over. Pollution levels have dropped dramatically over the last 10-15 years througout the country.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,520
    From the old TV editorials: the opinions contain do not represent the views of this station?

    Actually, my comment didn't represent my opinion, or reality of any kind for that matter. I was just throwing out a reason for (some) peoples knww-jerk reaction to any proposal. remember, big brother is watching you...

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    if you bother to read up on these "scrappage"laws in "Cars and Parts" or "Hemmings Motor News" or "Stella Sez" on the Internet. Via zoning ordinances,legislation or simply by yor friendly city council, confiscation of private property IS being done under the guise of "saving the environment".
    There are some sources for you to begin your research. It may not be on a Federal level, but it IS happening. In Great Britain there are proposed laws to define Auto Recycling Yards as "Toxic Waste" sites to be treated as such.
    Is it any wonder people are a little skeptical of Government intent when they see even on a small local level,self important do -gooders trying to impose their will on people with absurdities in the city where I work such a hedge height limit- because it detracts from the "Urban village walking experience? That in itself is a property "taking": using MY property and what I do with it to give benefit to someone else with no compensation for some obtuse and unprovable "quality of life" societal benefit.
    Or the California AQMD spokesman who pronounced "We have to FORCE people out of their cars!" I'm only led to ask, "How? With a GUN?"
    I do not think it paranoia to question the motives of so-called environmental protectionists and political hacks, nor do I consider it the province of a militia mentality to see a slippery slope involved.When even at the local level you have self styled reformers ready and willing to chip away at your individual rights how much longer can you claim; "Well; that doesn't affect ME any"? and chalk it up to a bunch of rubes getting excited over nothing.
    When you consider that the EPA,the IRS,the ATF and even minor Federal Government bureacracies have their own swat teams, is it any wonder that people are a bit skeptical?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,681
    ...a device that could test the emissions output of your car at home. Kind of like a home pregnancy test for cars, I guess! Maybe it would have a sensor you'd put in your tailpipe, and you'd just have to rev the engine at a certain rpm for a certain duration. The kit could come with a tach that attaches, for cars without them.

    I think it'd be cool for people with older cars that don't need to go through the emissions test. For instance next time some eco-freak starts crying about my '67 Catalina killing off the planet for his grandchildren, I could show him the results! It'd also be neat, because you could test and see what various tuning and engine mods would do to the reading. For instance, the last time I changed the spark plugs on my '68 Dart, I'm still convinced that it did not do a bit of good. It got 13 mpg before the change, and it got 13 mpg after the change. It didn't seem to run any better, either. Maybe I shoulda just cleaned up the old ones with sandpaper and threw 'em back in for another 40K or so!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Pollution is getting better? Gee, talk to a marine biologist. Go to the South Bronx (you'll see many people with inhalers). Go visit Houston.

    But let's presume for a moment that this is so. Let's all agree for a minute that "Generally speaking, things are getting better."

    And how did that happen in the first place? Voluntary corporate clean-up? Or environmental action? All of you owe a debt to people who spoke up about the worst instances of environmental mayhem. You reap the benefits but don't see what might have happened without concerned citizens jumping in on your behalf. You should all be environmentalists in your community, IMO. And if you enjoy hunting or boating or hiking, all the more reason.

    As for wrecking yards, well, excuse me, but SOME wrecking yards ARE toxic waste dumps. What else are they? Rose gardens?...lol!

    Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade and dealing with it reasonably. You can bust up cars in an environmentally conscious manner. But not if you refuse to admit it's a problem or a danger.

    Anyway, back to this bill here.

    I would agree that the problem of older, gross polluting cars needs addressing, but not very old cars. There are too few of them to worry about. The gross polluters I am concerned about would be relatively modern cars that are way out of spec. There are still millions of plain old used cars on the road and if 10% of them are out of spec this could lead to serious problems.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    If anyone has explained why SEMA opposes this bill I guess I missed it.

    My guess would be that SEMA knows that a certain dollar percentage, say 40%, of its members sales is to owners of cars 10-30 years old, those most likely to be affected by this bill. The few cars older than that are usually considered "classics" by their owners and wouldn't be scrapped. Most cars less than 10 years old are likely to be good used cars and wouldn't be scrapped either.

    So if voluntary scrapping is a huge success and an additional 10% of these cars are scrapped every year, then SEMA is thinking this bill will lose them 4% each year in earnings. That's a lot. Some vendors would be affected more, some less.

    The big problem with this thinking is that the additional 10% of cars scrapped will be the bottom of the barrel, the cars least likely to get even OEM parts let alone aftermarket parts. And if I'm even close to guessing SEMA's thinking, I'll bet their leadership knows this too. So then it becomes more of a "not on my watch" thing, protecting their backsides against their membership.

    I don't deny that there are extremist environmentalists and safety crusaders. I'd even be willing to admit that the beaurocracy set up for voluntary scrapping might well look for ways to expand its powers, maybe in the direction of mandatory scrapping.

    But we've been having this discussion since the reformers of the late 1800s, into the New Deal and past the Great Society. Many of the laws and protections we take for granted and depend on were once bitterly resisted as the first step down the slippery slope. The problem with leaving things to "market forces" is that they focus on the here and now, not the future.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    That's true. Market forces have no conscience and no moral quality in themselves, and can be brutal if left ungoverned. They are also remarkably fragile and vulnerable to disaster, since ven the most complex systems are often governed by only a few variables.

    All that aside, I see SEMA is just one of many special interest groups juggling for position, and I have no problem whatsoever with that. But whipping people into paranoid hysteria and having them fall for it so easily is discouraging behavior.

    I wish environmentalists had such talents, but it's easier to scare people than inform them, we all know that.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    I'd say environmentalists have done a pretty good job of scaring the beejeezus out of everybody over the years. And to give credit where it's due, they've managed to accomplish some good things. But I think we're at the point there people want a balanced approach to the problem -- one that involves cost/benefit analysis, not just hysteria.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I got no problem with that if the analysis is done well.
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    "Pollution is getting better? Gee, talk to a marine biologist. Go to the South Bronx (you'll see many people with inhalers). Go visit Houston."

    Well, here are the facts. Between 1980 and 1999, man-made particulate emissions plunged 50 percent across the country. Violations of national carbon monoxide standards decreased 93 percent between 1990 and 1999. (Carbon monoxide has been virtually eradicated as a public health concern.) Average ozone levels in urban and suburban areas decreased 25 percent between 1980 and 1999. The average pollution from the vehicle fleet is dropping by 5-10 percent per year. Remember, this has been happening while the number of vehicles and vehicle miles driven has been INCREASING. This progress isn't surprising - a brand new Ford Excursion, uniformly excoriated by environmentalists as the Spawn of Satan, actually produces one half as many hydrocarbons as a 1987 Chevy Sprint did when it was new. Other new vehicles are even better.

    And as for Houston - air pollution violations decreased 50 percent by 1999 from 1970s levels. Ozone pollution remained the same - pretty impressive for a place that experienced a whopping 30 percent increase in population in the 1990s alone. Don't make the mistake of believing rhetoric spouted during the 2000 presidential campaign as the gospel truth - you'll be just as gullible as those misguided SEMA members ;-).

    Where do those figures come from? General Motors? The Heritage Foundation? Try the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when it was run by Clinton appointee Carol Browner, who wasn't exactly known for cozying up to industry.

    And as for asthmatics - logic tells me that if pollution levels are dropping and asthma levels are increasing, there must be another reason for the rise in asthma cases. Of course, I've got more than logic on my side - I'm an asthmatic myself. And urban air does NOT bother me. A recent news article highlighted that the reason for the rise in asthma may be lack of exposure to common allergens at a young age. Children, especially those in urban areas, can't develop the proper immunological response to various foreign substances; hence asthma attacks. It was noted that children who grow up on farms and are regularly exposed to dust and animals almost never become asthmatics.

    The author of a book that picks apart many of the hysterical claims of the environmental lobby said it best - "Air pollution is not a new problem that is getting worse; it's an old problem that is getting better." The writer? Bjorn Lomberg, a Danish scholar and former member of the European Green Party. The book? The Skeptical Environmentalist.

    And as for what the marine biologists say - I thought we were only talking about air pollution, but I'll offer some perspectives here as well. As a child in the early 1970s, I remember visiting my relatives in Lorain, Ohio, which borders Lake Erie. We kids were always told that under NO circumstances should we even wade in Lake Erie. In 2000 I stopped for a visit, and lo and behold, people were not only swimming in the lake, but living to tell about it. We've made tremendous strides in cleaing up our lakes and rivers. No, they aren't as pristine as they were when the Pilgrims got off the boat, but neither are they going to hell in a handbasket, as they were 35 years ago.

    Yes, environmentalists deserve full credit for raising the issues of air and water pollution. Our country is a much nice place because of their efforts - not to mention the time and money spent by the companies that developed and implemented these improvements while allowing us to maintain our lifestyles. But don't fall into the trap of thinking that because someone was right about a subject 30-40 years ago, they are automatically correct today. If that were the case, Lee Iaccoca would still be heading the Chrysler Corp. Times and circumstances change - sometimes for the better.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    That one goes in the book.

    I live in Arcadia, CA, and when I was a kid there were lots of days when you couldn't see past the end of the block -- everything disappeared in a stinking, stinging brown haze. Nowadays you can drive up to Chantry Flats and see all the way from Riverside to Catalina. Things have definitely gotten better!

    In fact, engine technology (good ole fossil-fuel burning engines) has gotten so good that both Honda and Nissan have engines that actually spit out cleaner air than they take in. The only thing I see wwrong with fossil fuels at this point is from whom we buy it -- the Saudis. Let's give our business to the Russians, which will aid their progression into a free market economy and rid the terrorists of a major source of revenue and political cover.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Ah, but those are not "facts" exactly but "factoids"...that is, numbers without real meaning in real lives...they are statistics that create a misleading conclusion (not necessarily with bad intent by you).

    One would think from all this good news that nobody around the world was dying anymore from air pollution or that auto companies didn't haveto be forced into cleaning up their cars. These statistics make it sound like the automakers volunteered and people living in the US have no health worries from bad air.. HARDLY.

    Air pollution is a still a severe health hazard. EPA figures 20,000 "premature" deaths a year minimum, 100,000 maximum in the US alone, and World Resources Institute figures 1% of global deaths are related to bad air. American Lung Association says 50% of US population gets a grade of "F" for exposure to ground ozone, the form of ozone your statistics did not mention and a real health hazard. Areas like Houston are particularly vulnerable, but not this time of year, so you won't see the aior pollution warnings on the map.

    Historically, it is exhaustively documented how the auto companies fought pollution controls tooth and nail. But the government forced them to comply and improve under threat of fine, lawsuit and imprisonment. Also, the Japanese led the way in early pollution control technology and basically shamed US automakers into putting up similar results.

    The improvements we've made in air quality could be turned around in a red hot minute by lax controls or public apathy.

    That's why I contest statistics that don't relate to real problems. Progress in air quality came to us through struggle and conflict. It wasn't easy and we can't let up on it.

    As for the oceans, my friend a very well-known marine biologist (sharks) , guesses that unless we do something, the oceans will be dead in about 150 years, and so will we. Of course, I presume we won't be that stupid, so does he. But hey, you never know!

    PS: Hey, me ashmatic too! And I gotta tell 'ya, I do feel it when the air is foul up here in the Bay Area.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 343
    There doesn't appear to be much information in that last post, other than a general feeling of unease that the barbarians are still at the gate.

    More light, less heat, please......!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,681
    ...there's enough information out there, and enough examples to prove either point, that I don't think I'm going to believe it's the end of the world until I actually see it happen! Heck, in an article in the Washington Post, someone was even whining about the pollution that trees put out!

    I live in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and I heard somewhere that we have some of the worst air in Maryland, and rank pretty high on a national level, too. I think it's because of all the industrial areas of Baltimore, BWI Airport, and the air currents off the Chesapeake Bay. Still, I haven't grown a third testicle...yet ;-)
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