President Bush really seems to be jumping around looking for the "gas price issue" that will stick with the American public. Interesting that he's decided to "ask for the authority" from Congress to revise passenger vehicle Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) after his administration's poor performance revising the CAFE light truck standards.
Here's the UCS reaction. Once again, David Friedman, UCS research director:
President’s Call for Fuel Economy Reform Merits a Barrel of Skepticism
Statement by David Friedman, Research Director, Clean Vehicles Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
“The public should be wary of the president’s call for authority to ‘reform’ fuel economy standards for cars. It is very likely he will take the same road he did when he revised the fuel economy standards for SUVs, minivans and pickups, which will save less than two weeks of gasoline a year over the next two decades. If rumors are true that the president might target a 10 percent increase in the standard for cars, it would save less than a week’s worth of gasoline over the next two decades. Talk about a drop in the bucket.”
“After 9/11, two devastating hurricanes and record gasoline prices, we should expect real political leadership on fuel economy. Unfortunately, this just seems like an attempt to play pre-election politics with gasoline prices. Real leadership from the president and Congress would be to increase the fuel economy of all cars and light trucks to 40 miles per gallon over the next decade. This would be the equivalent of offering a $600 annual tax break from reduced fuel costs. If the president did this, we would celebrate his leadership -- and so would the American people.
“Unfortunately, the president’s plan would change the fuel economy system from having one standard for all cars to having lower standards for bigger vehicles, creating a loophole that will encourage manufacturers to produce bigger, less efficient cars. The drop in the bucket savings from the fuel economy increase would drain right through the loophole. If Congress is going to grant the president authority to revamp car fuel economy targets, they must also include a requirement that an oil savings guarantee be attached to any changes. To help consumers save money at the pump, Congress should ensure that the fuel savings are two to three times larger than what the president offered for light trucks in March.”
Posted by: ScottN