Congress Votes To Make Energy More Expensive
December 18, 2007
Faced with the looming holiday recess, Congress just passed an energy bill that will do little to lower energy costs and may actually put a bigger strain on consumers pocketbooks, according to H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).
"Sadly, rather than increasing energy supplies and reducing fuel prices, Congress rewarded their environmental activist friends," said Burnett.
According to Burnett, the big news from the energy legislation centered on new federal mandates, chief amongst them, an increase in fuel efficiency standards. The legislation increases the CAFE standards from 27.5 mpg's for cars and 22.2 mpg's for light trucks to 35 mpg mandate for both types of vehicles. History shows that increasing CAFE standards will not decrease our reliance on imported oil. Improved fuel economy makes driving cheaper. When driving becomes cheaper, people drive more. The biggest loss from this provision is commuter safety and consumer choice as car companies downsize their fleet to meet the more stringent standards - light trucks and SUV's go extinct - and people are forced into less crashworthy, smaller cars.
"Congress should unleash the power of the market to provide more abundant, reliable, relatively inexpensive energy to the public," says Burnett. "Instead, it seems intent on paying off the "big green" lobby. American industry, workers, and those on fixed incomes will pay the price."