Clunker Law Report

News from the Clunker Law meeting, Sunday, March 3, Stevensville, MD.

David Parde, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE), spoke to about 50 Maryland area car club representatives on this Sunday. According to him, it seems like big government and big business just cannot leave the little guy alone. The Environmental Protection Agency enforces the Clean Air Act of 1990 by threatening to take away federal funds from state budgets, if the state does not do what EPA says to do. The EPA and the big oil companies and the major car manufacturers have all teamed up to try to pin the air pollution problem on all pre-1981 cars! They have designed incentives to buy old cars and crush them! They have designed smog tests specifically to fail the old cars and force them to be sold for $700 or $800 to the crusher! What is more disgusting is that the really gross polluters, the factories with the belching smoke stacks, etc., can get EPA credits which allow them to postpone their clean up efforts by crushing old cars! How ridiculous! The sad part is that a market has now developed for selling and trading EPA credits which means the factories may never really clean up their act at the expense of the old car hobbyist!

Not if MCC has anything to do with it! We must unite to write and call our congressmen to let them know we do NOT want vehicle scrappage laws in Maryland. Scraping and crushing old cars is not the answer to solving air pollution. What is the answer? Put the factories on notice that they must do their fair share to clean up the air now and that the EPA must lighten up on the old car hobbyists and tighten up on the factories and other gross polluters! Newer cars run much cleaner now and as long as the emission equipment works, they are fine, but if that equipment goes bad, then those new cars become gross polluters! More so than any old Chevelle ever did!

So I say, let’s lay the blame where it really belongs and the EPA can enforce the law on the real culprits. No more Clunker Laws! Just look at what happened in New Jersey! (Refer to the Jersey Clunker Law on the next page). They can actually come into your driveway and take you old car away! That law has to be repealed! It is downright UN-American! In Pennsylvania, they tried to force vehicle scrappage and the fine old car hobbyists put over 2000 beautiful old cars around the state capital to protest and won a compromise with EPA. They can keep their old cars, if they repair or retrofit them with pollution devices to clean up those vehicles that cannot pass the smog test. GREAT! It is better than crushing them!

In Maryland, we currently have a mandatory $12 sniff test every 2 years only on ’77 and newer vehicles. However, that could change! The last thing we want is a New Jersey-type of confiscation law!! Already we have our centralized testing facilities with the I/M 240 Dynometer testing equipment, which is designed to fail a whole bunch of cars! There have been glitches in the testing equipment, so Governor Glendenning has delayed their mandatory use for another year…but it’s coming. We must be ready to deal with it. It’s time to get involved to protect our right to keep our old cars! Call 1-800-229-5380, the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) to get on their mailing list. Ask what YOU CAN DO to help keep Clunker Laws out of Maryland NOW!…before the New Jersey travesty comes to Maryland!!!

Bob Wilcox

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