The Cash-for-Clunkers program will, presumably save 166 gallons of gas annually for each car turned in under the program. So far, there have been 240,000 cars turned in for a total savings of 39,840,000 gallons a year - quite impressive.
Now figure that it takes 27 barrels of oil, or 1142 gallons of oil to produce a new car including the petroleum to create and machine the parts, the energy costs, etc. 1142 gallons of oil times 240,000 equals 274,080,000 gallons of oil to create the new replacement cars.
So cash for clunkers will save the 40 million gallons of oil per year, so eventually the energy cost of producing these new cars will be recouped - wait for it - In six and a half years.
The cash for clunkers math lesson can be found at DEBTKID. A good read.
Now, if only we could get our president and congresspeople enrolled in remedial math classes - maybe summer school?
After 20 years as an air traffic controller in the U.S. Army (Yeah, I was a military scab during the controller's strike), I started my second career as a computer programmer (spelled GEEK or NERD, I forget) about 18 years ago.