President Obama will announce dramatically higher Corporate Average Fuel Economic (CAFE) standards for cars and trucks today. The new fleet average requirement is expected to be 54.5 mpg, which will require massive downsizing of automakers' products and huge price increases, all for barely measurable gains in clean air.
Since their introduction in 1975, thousands of Americans have died as a result of design changes CAFE has forced in cars and trucks, so it's no surprise that these regulations draw some of the most impassioned critiques. What remains amazing, however, is how CAFE advocates persist in their folly despite the overwhelming evidence of the bloody toll that results.
Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, brings all of the major arguments against CAFE together. After reading Pyle's statement, you may well find yourself wondering why Washington just keeps piling on this issue:
“Higher fuel economy mandates are based on the Obama Administration’s belief that Americans are too stupid to decide for themselves which cars to buy. The auto companies should be ashamed of themselves for rolling over, yet again, and signing on to this pact.
“American families should have the same freedom to choose transportation for their children and grandchildren as the Secret Service has in its choice of vehicles to protect the President. His limo gets 8 miles to the gallon and weighs 10,000 pounds, but it protects him from numerous dangers. There’s a reason President Obama isn’t driven around in a Smart Car surrounded by Secret Service agents in Minis.
“Time and time again, studies have proven that these types of CAFE standards cause increased deaths in auto accidents by forcing Americans to drive smaller, lighter cars. These rules will continue to force Americans to sacrifice safety, comfort, and affordability as a result of the Obama Administration’s obsession with fuel economy.
“While these new standards will increase the deaths of Americans in auto accidents, it will also increase auto manufacturers’ profits by forcing Americans to buy more expensive cars. Instead of taking a ‘balanced approach’ to purchasing a car, President Obama wants to force Americans to consider fuel economy over any other aspect – even the car’s price. President Obama’s automobile choice shows that he cares about features other than fuel economy, so why is he forcing the American people to choose fuel economy first and foremost?
“Instead of putting limits on Americans’ freedoms, President Obama should allow the free market to function so that auto companies are making the types of cars that Americans want, not the types of cars that his radical anti-energy constituency wants.”