Senate to Mandate More Fuel Economy Regulations

The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to vote on a plan to increase fuel efficiency mandates today, despite the increased risk posed to motorists. 

Senators will reportedly consider mandates for a national CAFE average from 27.5 miles per gallon to 35 mpg by 2020 for passenger cars, along with additional mandates in subsequent years.  Fuel economy requirements for light trucks would be raised from 22.2 mpg in 2007 to 35 mpg.  The Senate plan will also impose additional mandates for larger vehicles starting in 2011.

CAFE standards gave already contributed to tens of thousands of passenger deaths, forcing consumers into lighter-weight vehicles.

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“American families should be empowered to make their own decisions when it comes to automotive efficiency,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute General Counsel Sam Kazman. “Congress should not substitute government mandates for consumer choice. 


“According to a new Consumer Reports study, government claims that efficiency standards would give us a better washing machine turned out to be false,” said Kazman. “If Energy Department mandates for new top-loading models are ‘sacrificing cleaning ability,’ why should we believe government will do any better on something as complex as a car?”


More information about CAFE standards is available at

For a short video guide to the CAFE program, see The Simpleton’s Guide to Fuel Standards on YouTube.