Senate Investigates Fuel Economy

Senate Investigates Fuel Economy

Will The Commerce Committee Be Clueless On Safety?
January 23, 2002

Washington, D.C., January 24, 2002 — One of the federal government’s riskier regulations will be examined today as the Senate Commerce Committee holds hearings on the new-car fuel economy program.  Despite the fact that a National Academy of Sciences report found the program responsible for thousands of deaths, those advocating its expansion refuse to admit that it kills anyone.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


The CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) program was originally introduced in 1975.  While it has yet to demonstrably reduce gasoline consumption, it has forced carmakers to restrict their sales of larger cars and to downsize other models.  Since larger cars are more crashworthy than smaller cars in practically every collision mode, the result is more highway deaths.


“For over a decade, we have argued that CAFE increases traffic deaths by restricting the production of larger, more crashworthy cars,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman.  “In 1992 we won a federal appeals court ruling that the U.S. Transportation Department had illegally ignored CAFE’s adverse safety effects.  Now those safety effects are being ignored by those who want to make this program even deadlier.”


Earlier this week Senator John Kerry (D-MA) proposed increasing CAFE standards “as far and fast as we can,” despite findings by the National Academy of Sciences that these standards contribute to between 1,300 and 2,600 deaths every year.

PUBLIC SAFETY EXPERT AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS ON CAFE AND ENERGY LEGISLATION Sam KazmanGeneral Counsel202-331-1010, ext. Recently featured in: National Review, TheChristian Science Monitor, Environment &Climate News, and Hardball with Chris Matthews.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information, please contact CEI at or 202-331-1010.