Fuel Economy Hypocrisy

Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli had an op-ed Thursday in the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel on proposals in Congress to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards.

Says Deneen, in part:

…Congress is grappling with raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to mandate higher gas mileage for cars, light trucks and minivans.Legislation already passed by the Senate, and currently under consideration in the House of Representatives, would increase CAFE standards from the current benchmark of 27 mpg for cars and 22 mpg for light trucks to 35 miles per gallon for both by 2020. That’s more than a 40 percent increase.

With gas at over $3 per gallon, this dramatic change might sound appealing. Your vehicle choices, personal safety, wallet, and ability to haul and tow, however, will be compromised to achieve that goal.

Automakers will be forced to squeeze even more size and weight out of vehicles to get more miles per gallon, and lighter cars are inherently less safe than heavier ones.

According to an analysis by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, adding hybrid technology to a new vehicle increases its market price between $4,000 and $10,000.

…the increases in cost mean that many families of moderate means will be forced by economics to retain their older, less fuel efficient vehicles longer…

Yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who supports the draconian increase, puddles around town in a huge SUV, as does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who holds the same views.

Leaders by example, they ain’t.

Read Deneen’s entire op-ed here.

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