CEI Charges Environmentalist Whitewash of CAFE

CEI Charges Environmentalist Whitewash of CAFE

February 09, 2000

February 10, 2000 -- In congressional testimony to be presented today, CEI charges that environmentalist groups are whitewashing the issue of CAFE’s lethal effects on auto safety.

CEI is scheduled to testify before the Transportation Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee (2358 Rayburn, panel scheduled for 3:20 pm). In 1992, CEI won a federal appeals court ruling that NHTSA had illegally ducked the issue of whether CAFE increases auto fatalities by causing new cars to be downsized. In today's testimony, CEI will charge that the Sierra Club has adopted NHTSA’s approach in its push to make CAFE even more stringent.

CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman states: "Sierra Club’s treatment of the CAFE-safety issue is simple; it says that since Ralph Nader and the Center for Auto Safety support higher CAFE levels, they can’t be unsafe. But if you do a little digging into what Nader and the Center said before large cars become so politically incorrect, it turns out these folks publicly stated that smaller means less safe. The trade-off that CAFE imposes on auto safety can’t be hidden this easily."

Last June CEI released a study that calculated CAFE’s yearly toll at 2,600 to 4,500 deaths. A USA Today study released in July found the death toll to be even higher.