Congress is considering a proposal to pay people to get rid of the old gas guzzlers sitting in their driveways. Introduced in both the House and Senate the “Cash for Clunkers” program enables drivers to receive a voucher of up to $4,500 when they turn in their old fuel-inefficient vehicle for scrapping and buy vehicles that get good gas mileage. Old cars could also be turned in for vouchers that could be used to ride public buses and trains. The bill visualizes the program operating for four years and encouraging the retirement of up to one million vehicles a year, which would save between 40,000 and 80,000 barrels of fuel a day by the end of the fourth year. In the first year of the program, a vehicle that is 2002 and later would be eligible to receive $4,500 for purchase of a new vehicle, $3,000 for purchase of a used vehicle or $3,000 for transit fare credit. For model years 1999 to 2001, drivers would receive $3,000 for the purchase of a new vehicle, and for those who would trade in a vehicle that came out in 1998 or before they would receive a credit of $2,000 for purchase of a new vehicle.
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