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Glitch Delayed 'Cash for Clunkers' Participation in Alaska


August 03, 2009

(SitNews) - Alaskans can participate in the Cash for Clunkers program, despite a glitch on a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) website that generated confusion over whether Alaska was eligible.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska received numerous phone calls last week from Alaska auto dealers concerned that Alaska was being left out of the program. In order to participate, dealers have to ensure that a trade-in car is transferred to a disposal facility on a DOT list. But when dealers tried to access the information, no Alaska facilities appeared on the list.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Murkowski noted that the recent rollout of the program was delayed in Alaska, thanks to a computer glitch on a federal website that temporarily prohibited the ability of auto dealers - and therefore consumers ­ to participate.

DOT officials assured Murkowski that there are a number of disposal facilities in the state, and that Alaska will be able to participate.

DOT officials told Murkowski's office that they were trying to update their website ( with a list of approved Alaska disposal facilities. They said there were at least five such facilities located in Anchorage, Juneau and Kodiak. However on the DOT website the only disposal facilities listed as of August 3rd are located in Anchorage.

The program runs through Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. However, the Obama administration said Thursday that the $1 billion Cash for Clunkers program ran out of money Thursday, July 30th, after only one week following an unexpected flood of business exhausted the funds.

Under the Cash for Clunkers program, eligible owners of gas guzzling automobiles will receive a credit, up to $4,500, if they turn them in and buy or lease a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle. Congress created the program in an effort to spur new car sales in the battered auto industry.

Murkowski said a recent federal report showed that of the $502 billion appropriated through the economic stimulus bill, substantial sums remain unspent.

"Clearly there are a multitude of programs and funding available through the stimulus act that could potentially be used to continue the CARS program, and the CARS program seems like a very legitimate candidate to access this funding," Murkowski wrote.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a $2 billion extension of the Cash for Clunkers program. The House legislation would authorize the program through September 30, 2010, and the money would come from an Energy Department loan guarantee program that is part of the economic stimulus package enacted in February.


On the Web:

Cars Allowance Rebate System (CARS)



Source of News:

Office of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski


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Ketchikan, Alaska