CAFE standards have resulted in
more dangerous automobiles
WASHINGTON, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
-- The U.S. Senate will be debating energy legislation this week and
next. One provision, requiring huge increases in motor vehicle fuel
economy (CAFE) standards is a bad idea.
While all Americans want better
fuel economy, cheaper fuel and less dependence on imported oil, the
30-year history of CAFE has not accomplished them. Our energy
dependence doubled under CAFE mandates. There are likely to be
significant lifestyle tradeoffs if these extreme proposals pass.
Credible studies have shown CAFE standards enacted in the 1970s
caused thousands of occupant fatalities because of downsized
passenger cars. Now, the same could happen to light trucks --
pickups, SUVs, vans and minivans.
USA Today's expose, "Death by the
Gallon" analyzed the various studies and concluded: "46,000 people
have died because of a 1970s-era push for greater fuel efficiency
that has lead to smaller cars."
Senator Harry Reid's bill would
mandate that all cars and light trucks get an average of 35 miles
per gallon by 2020 and increases of 4 percent every year to 2030.
This would drive up vehicle costs by thousands of dollars (more than
you will recoup through savings at the gas pump); cause more
downsizing that leads to more fatalities; and reduce passenger space
and hauling and towing capacity. Here are a few examples of those
-- Families with several children
and active lifestyles.
-- Carpoolers that carry more than
-- Outdoor enthusiasts that like to
go camping, or tow a boat or trailer. (There are more than 20
million things in the U.S. that need to be towed and only 1 percent
of passenger cars have the ability to tow anymore because of CAFE.)
-- Home improvement supplies might
take several trips or may not fit in smaller vehicles.
-- Businesses like construction,
farmers, ranchers, florists, etc. would be devastated if their
"workhorses" are too small, underpowered and cost too much to
Are we going to bet our energy
future AGAIN on a program that has failed to deliver? The real
solution is reasonable increases in CAFE combined with greater
incentives for alternative fuels and making them available and
convenient to all motorists.
Source: Barry McCahill,
President of SUV Owners of America, and former U.S. Department of
Transportation official; Ron DeFore, Communications Director, SUV
Owners of America, and former senior U.S. Department of