Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE, Fuel Economy and the NPRM

Additional on-the-record comment about the NPRM language from Robbie Diamond, SAFE’s President and CEO:

On safety argument:
“The federal government’s own data shows that when managed properly for vehicle footprints, lightweighting and fuel economy rules don’t undermine highway safety. Saving lives while saving fuel can be accomplished simultaneously—especially while integrating new technologies such as advanced driver assist and other semi-autonomous features, which can result in 18-25 percent reductions in fuel demand system-wide, and save approximately 10,000 lives per year.”

On vehicle prices:
“Thanks to the incredible innovation of the automotive industry, the impressive gains in fuel efficiency that have been achieved since 2012 have come at a price that consumers can afford—inflation-adjusted car purchase prices have fallen by 3 percent since 2013 even as the total Consumer Price Index has risen by 8 percent. By contrast, housing prices have increased by 15 percent and food prices have increased by 7 percent. We need a regulatory framework that supports continued technological innovation that will strengthen the industry, boost our economy, and help consumers deal with the rising price of oil.”

On assumption oil prices will stay low through 2050:
“Trying to predict oil prices is a fool’s game. Just 6 months ago, we were told oil prices wouldn’t rise above $75 per barrel in the near future. The only safe assumption about oil prices is that they are unpredictable, and subject to manipulation by foreign actors. Let’s remember that every modern recession has been preceded or occurred concurrently to an oil price spike.”

On half million barrels a day increase:
“Implementing policies that will result in such a dramatic increase in gasoline demand ignores the lessons we have learned time and again about the consequences of our oil dependence—it hurts American families and businesses, it burdens our armed forces, it boosts the trade deficit, makes our automotive industry less competitive, and continues the wealth transfer to petrostates who manipulate the oil market. Gasoline demand in every other OECD member country is declining and they are getting more economic output out of every barrel they consume. America must do the same if we wish to remain prosperous and secure.”

Additional public resources from SAFE on the issue of safety and potential technological solutions

SAFE’s March memo examines the question “Are fuel economy standards a threat to public safety?”
This SAFE briefing memo outlines the consensus among National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and outside experts that lightweighting, when done properly, poses no overall increased safety risk.”

SAFE’s April 2018 Report outlines opportunity for EPA to modernize fuel economy standards, save lives and reduce fuel demand by incorporating a credit program for existing driver assist and AV technologies.
“The transportation sector is undergoing one of its most profound transformations in history, and SAFE believes the deployment of advanced vehicle technologies will save lives and fuel,” said Robbie Diamond, SAFE’s President and CEO. “By leveraging the off-cycle credit program, this proposal will provide a platform for incorporating and testing a full suite of advanced vehicle technologies. The upside potential is so great to society that it is worth seizing this opportunity. This technology revolution offers the Trump Administration and California one pathway to find agreement on a strong long-term standard while offering flexibility to the auto industry to achieve it.” Full report and summary here.

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