One of the most popular and publicized policies of the American relief, recovery and reinvestment act has been the extremely successful "Cash for Clunkers" program. Those whose old and inefficient vehicles qualify for this program can trade it in for as much as a $4,500 voucher on a new vehicle with a mpg rating at least 10 mpg better than the clunker. The program was expected to last 90 days with a billion dollars, but with 184,000 approved deals made already, the program has been depleted of funds in about a week.
For this reason, Congress has approved another $2 billion for this economic stimulant, which has already helped give Ford its first positive sales figures in years and a nice, simple step towards greater energy independence as a nation. Even more promising is that the rate of purchase has increased since the additional funds were approved.
Furthermore, $2.4 billion in government grants has been given to companies involved in electric vehicle technology. If these steps are to show any trend of the American auto-industry's future, then we can optimistically expect a much greener world, and pessimistically expect a "less bad" environment. It is clear this administration sees green jobs as the way to future growth, and, with the strong support of an eco-conscious society, we can expect nothing short of an energy revolution.
But this level of change is far from certain, and history has taught us to downplay hopes. That is why supporters of a green future must not succumb to political apathy, but instead focus the citizenry's attention to the absolute necessity for these measures to come. If we do not, we may miss out on the last hope for the renovation of a dying American system. Let it be known to your representatives that we want to lead in innovation, create a stable and durable new economy, and leave the immense beauty of our environment for the eyes of future generations to behold.