Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
Washington, DC, May 3, 2001 — A Senate bill has been introduced to require sport utility vehicles to meet the same federal fuel-economy standard as passenger cars, but an expert with the Competitive Enterprise Institute says its main effect would be to increase traffic deaths.
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The bill, sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would require light trucks—which include SUVs, pickups, and minivans—to meet a 27.5 mile per gallon average standard by 2007, up from the current federal standard of 20.7 mpg. Vehicles such as SUVs currently fall under a more lenient federal standard than passenger cars. The standards are set by the Department of Transportation under a federal law known as CAFE (corporate average fuel economy), which was created during the energy crisis in 1975.
“CAFE is a bad idea and requiring SUVs to meet the same standard as cars is an even worse idea,” says Sam Kazman, CEI’s counsel and expert on fuel economy standards. “CAFE has been proven to kill people by forcing the downsizing of automobiles. The very popularity of SUVs is based in part on the fact that they have the capacity and size that people have not found in cars because of CAFE.”
Mr. Kazman has testified before Congress and has been involved in litigation on CAFE. In 1992, he won a federal appeals court ruling that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had illegally concealed the lethal effects of CAFE on highway safety. This was the first judicial overturning of a CAFE standard in the program’s history.
To schedule an interview with Mr. Kazman, please call the media relations department at CEI at 202.331.1010.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, please visit the website at www.cei.org .