NHTSA to Make Fuel Economy Program Deadlier

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today is expected to announce new fuel economy standards for light trucks, including SUVs, a move the Competitive Enterprise Institute believes will make the program even deadlier for the millions of Americans on our nation’s highways. 

Currently, the fuel economy standard for light trucks is 21 miles a gallon. The Bush administration already imposed higher standards on light trucks two years ago, mandating an increase to 22.2 mpg in 2007, and now NHTSA is reportedly set to raise it again to 23.5 mpg by 2010.

“Higher fuel economy standards increase traffic deaths, as the National Academy of Sciences found in its 2001 study on the federal fuel economy program,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman, who handled CEI's litigation against NHTSA on this issue. “NHTSA, however, continues to pretend that higher fuel standards are harmless.  Its position is pure nonsense.  ‘Safety’ may be NHTSA’s middle name, but when it comes to fuel economy this agency’s commitment to safety is nothing more than a cheap slogan.”