Senate Should Be Lauded for Defeating
CAFE Standard Increase
For Immediate Release.
March 14, 2002 The
Senate should be commended for their wise action on March 13, 2002,
to give the Bush administration two years to develop its own mileage
rules. They also defeated an effort to increase the
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards by 50 percent over 13
years for sport cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
terms of reducing consumption, the standards do not do a particularly
effective job. For example, the higher standards for automobiles
affect only new vehicles, which constitute about seven percent of registered
vehicles. Any increase in fuel-efficiency
requirements takes a long time to make a difference on the road.
Thus, in terms of regulating new vehicle mileage, it has little
effect on gasoline consumption.
are encouraged to drive more with better fuel mileage. They also tend to purchase larger vehicles and get the same mileage
which has a minimal effect on total consumption. For example, motorists are driving twice as
many miles since 1974 with an average domestic new car fuel economy
increased 114 percent and light truck fuel economy increased 56 percent
. However, imported oil has increased from 35
percent of United States (U.S.) consumption to more than 52 percent.
safety must be considered when increasing CAFE standards.
For example, on average, for every 100 pounds reduction in new
car weight to meet CAFE standards, between 440 and 780 additional people
are killed in auto accidents found researchers at Harvard University
and the Brookings Institution. This
represents per model year a total of 2,200 to 3,900 lives.
Senate, for delaying a program that would take more control out of the
hands of the people and put it in the hands of government," said
Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
to the American Voice Institute of Public Policy Home Page