Contact: Jody Clarke, 202-331-2252
Washington, D.C., March 29, 2006—While the Department of Transportation touts higher fuel economy standards for light trucks, including SUVs, a fuel economy expert with the Competitive Enterprise Institute says the increase makes zero sense at a time of rising gasoline prices.
“The public has responded far more effectively than the government ever could to the recent gasoline price hikes, by changing their driving habits and their car-buying decisions,” says Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel and a fuel economy standards expert. “Environmentalists, on the other hand, are engaging in knee-jerk complaints that the standards should be raised even more. Higher standards would make driving even cheaper, a goal directly at odds with environmentalist complaints that we already drive too much.”
CEI has long contended that the CAFE program (for Corporate Average Fuel Economy) is lethal because it has forced the downsizing of passenger cars, which makes them less crashworthy.
A National Research Council study in 2001 found that CAFE’s downsizing incentive contributes to 2,000 deaths annually. In 1992, CEI won a federal appeals court ruling that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had illegally concealed the lethal effects on highway safety of its auto fuel economy standards. The decision marked the first judicial overturning of a fuel economy standard in the program’s history.
Fuel Economy Expert Available for Interviews
Recently seen: CNBC’s “Street Signs”, Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, National Journal and Automotive News.
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 our website at www.cei.org.