CAFE Fuel Economy Standards Kill: NCPA

President Obama and the automakers are nearing an agreement that would raise fuel economy standards to nearly 55 miles per gallon by 2025. “This will take away consumer choice and force all but the wealthiest drivers into small, underpowered death traps,” said National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett.

“There is no, absolutely no justification for this type of Soviet-style mandate,” said Burnett.

"There are plenty of fuel efficient cars on the market today," said Burnett. "The truth is people don't buy cars for their fuel-efficiency alone. There are so many other factors that go into the decision, including safety. But safety considerations will have to be shunted to the side to meet stricter standards."

Burnett explained that drivers and passengers will pay a steep price. “The major automakers are trying to get along by going along,” he said. “They won’t suffer from these new standards, or at least if they do, it will be long after current management and workers are gone.” 

As to the impact on imported oil, Burnett said, “Stricter standards would do very little reduce the U.S dependence on foreign oil. Cars with higher miles-per-gallon are cheaper to drive, so people drive them more, thereby using more gasoline. For example, since the 1970s, cars and trucks have gotten more fuel efficient, but gasoline consumption has more than doubled. 

“Most importantly, making cars lighter and smaller has consistently been shown to result in more deaths and serious injuries during collisions,” he added. 

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H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is one of the country's leading authorities on energy and environmental issues. He is the lead analyst of the National Center for Policy Analysis' (NCPA) E-Team. Burnett's area of expertise includes topics that affect every American, such as government environmental policy, offshore drilling, global warming, endangered species and public lands.

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. We bring together the best and brightest minds to tackle the country's most difficult public policy problems — in health care, taxes, retirement, small business, and the environment. Visit our website today for more information

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