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More Cash For Cash-for-clunkers?

Following up on Brad's post about cash-for-clunkers, the House took unusually quick action today and voted to transfer $2 billion to replenish the cash-strapped program. Congressional Quarterly reports that the money would come from Title 17 renewable-energy loan guarantees—a part of the federal stimulus package that has been slow in getting doled out.

The fact that this money is coming from a program meant to bolster renewable energy only exacerbates the concern that—from an environmental perspective—cash-for-clunkers has been marginally useful at best. At least some members of the Senate, however, appear hip to this fact: Diane Feinstein and Susan Collins released a statement insisting that any extension approved by the Senate must require newly purchased vehicles to achieve at least two miles per gallon greater fuel efficiency than is currently required under the program.