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

Ill-considered arbitrary fuel economy legislation could delay progress in conserving gasoline, extend unemployment, and restrict economic progress. It also could deny the choice of vehicles desired and needed by a large number of Americans.

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Unidentified GM Spokesman, Chicago Tribune.

If we sell too many big cars, we’ll have to stop building them. Then we’ll have to ram small cars down consumers’ throats and use dealer incentives to get rid of them so that we can build big cars again. The public is going to rebel because these hard-to-get big cars will then sell for full list or higher when the small cars are being given away.

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Sid Terry, VP of Public Responsibility and Consumer Affairs for Chrysler, Chicago Tribune.

The whole CAFE scheme is, in terms of public policy, ridiculous, and has the practical effects of driving U.S. jobs abroad.

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Former transportation Secretary Jim Burnley, The New York Times. April, 1989.

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.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

The Success of CAFE Standards

How the CAFE standard and its successes.