Washington, D.C., December 19, 2007—Today President Bush signed a major new energy bill that will drive up costs to taxpayers and consumers and increase the severity of fuel efficiency rules for cars – rules that have contributed to the deaths of ten of thousands of passengers in the past.
"American families now face the prospect of paying more for food, gas, and vehicles," said Myron Ebell, Director of Energy Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. "Under the guise of addressing our energy problems, the Congress and President have made them worse."
The new law includes an increase in fuel economy regulations for cars and light trucks, making a program that already contributes to thousands of highway deaths a year even more deadly. The federal rules for new vehicles force carmakers to downsize their new vehicles, making them less crashworthy in the case of an accident.
"There were a lot of questionable provisions in the energy bill, but making fuel economy rules more strict is by far the worst of the lot. Subsidizing inefficient technologies and raising consumer prices is bad enough, but Congress and the White House should have drawn the line at taking more American lives," said Competitive Enterprise Institute General Counsel Sam Kazman.
In addition to the deadly effects of the rules, it is unclear how carmakers will be able to even meet the new standard of 35 miles per gallon. "According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only two 2008 models out of a total of 1,153 currently on the market comply with the new regulations," said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis. "This simple, easily checked fact blows away proponents’ claim that the new standard is practical and realistic."
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