Energy Policy Conservation Act (CAFE standards)

Energy Policy Conservation Act (CAFE standards)

The “Energy Policy Conservation Act,” enacted into law by Congress in 1975, added Title V, “Improving Automotive Efficiency,” to the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act and established CAFE standards for passenger cars and light trucks. The Act was passed in response to the 1973-74 oil embargo. The near-term goal was to double new car fuel economy by model year 1985.

“Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) is the sales weighted average fuel economy, expressed in miles per gallon (mpg), of a manufacturer’s fleet of passenger cars or light trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 lbs. or less, manufactured for sale in the United States, for any given model year. Fuel economy is defined as the average mileage traveled by an automobile per gallon of gasoline (or equivalent amount of other fuel) consumed as measured in accordance with the testing and evaluation protocol set by the Environmental Protection Agency".

Commentary

smokestack and dirty air

Crying Wolf Again: Big Business Gearing up for a Fight Against Obama’s Environmental Program

May 11, 2009

Cry Wolf Quotes

If the CAFE standard is too high, it adversely affects workers, manufacturers, and consumers alike.

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Transportation Secretary Jim Burnley, Toronto Globe & Mail.

Pricing is still a concern with consumers. We continue to see sticker shock. And the potential exists that with some cars in short supply, Detroit will take advantage of the situation with some big price increases this fall. What Detroit will do is drive some people into small or used cars instead. In the last three to four years, price increases outpaced income gains and pushed people into used cars. Pricing is the reason the recovery won’t be robust.

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Wes Stuchlak, analyst with Chase Econometrics, Chicago Tribune.

In effect, this bill would outlaw a number of engine lines and car models including most fullsize sedans and station wagons. It would restrict the industry to producing subcompact-size cars — or even smaller ones — within 5 years . . .

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Alan Loofburrow, vice president of engineering at Chrysler Corp., Senate Commerce Committee

We have consistently opposed mandatory fuel economy standards as unnecessary. Because it is clearly in our self interest to meet customer requirements on fuel economy improvements, as demonstrated by our own high mileage m.p.g. small cars recently announced.

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Rodney Markley Jr., VP of Washington Staff for Ford, Chicago Tribune

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

The Success of CAFE Standards

How the CAFE standard and its successes.