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Obama Administration Finalizes New Draconian Fuel Standards

August 30, 2012 J

The Obama administration just finalized rigid fuel economy standards that will limit consumer choice, increase the number of fatalities likely to occur in car accidents, and decrease vehicle sales, inevitably forcing difficult layoffs at auto dealerships. This highly controversial regulation requires that cars model years 2017-2025 get at least 54.5 miles to the gallon by year 2025. Although the President and his bureaucratic cronies may be elated about their much-anticipated rule, consumers, passengers, and auto-dealers do not share this same sentiment, and with good reason.

Fuel economy standards limit consumer options, forcing the purchase of expensive, light-weight, and relatively small vehicles. Consumers have preferences based their own set of values. With the issuance of this new rule, government agencies have taken it upon themselves to decide what these values should be. They think every American should value low fuel usage and low greenhouse gas emissions. Americans that don’t are stuck paying for cars they don’t want, without the option to purchase more affordable, heavier, or larger vehicles.

Cars that meet this standard will necessarily be lighter, making vehicles less safe and more prone to total destruction in the event of a collision. Consumers who wish to purchase SUV’s and vans because of their size and safety will no longer have that choice. Larger cars that rely on strength and payload cannot meet the minimum miles per gallon mandate. The number of deaths from car accidents will increase as a result.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of the agencies responsible for this issuing this disastrous rule, found that if a car weighing less than 3,000 pounds reduces its weight by 100 pounds, the rate of fatalities increases by 5%.

With the economy in shambles, and unemployment resting above 8% for the last three and half years, now is not the time to be pushing costly regulations that will drive consumers out of the new car market, effectively reducing auto dealership sales, causing even more unemployment in the auto industry. The National Automobile Dealers Association estimates that the fuel standards will force automakers to raise the average price of a new vehicle by nearly $3,000. They expect about 7 million consumers to simply forgo the purchase of a new vehicle once prices reflect enforcement of this new fuel standard. Car dealerships will no doubt have to fire several employees to account for the loss of revenue resulting from the low sales of these high mileage vehicles.

Fuel economy standards are just one more example of the Obama administration’s illusions of grandeur when it comes to forcing green products down the throats of the American consumer. This out of touch administration doesn’t seem to realize that we can’t afford anymore agenda-driven regulations driving up the cost of consumer products, hurting American pocketbooks and jobs alike.

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