The Cash for Clunkers program that was pitched to the public as a big boost for the economy and the environment turned out to be nothing more than a lemon, according to a new study released by the Brookings Institution.

In fact, the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) known as Cash for Clunkers, did little to help the environment and was “far more expensive per job created than alternative fiscal stimulus programs,” according to new research led by Ted Gayer and Emily Parker of Brookings.

Sold as an economic stimulus and an environmental salve, the program made early progress in jump-starting the ailing auto industry.

Initial data seemed to indicate that the program, which offered $3,500 to $4,500 for people who trade in their old cars for a new one with higher fuel economy, was popular.