FACT CHECK ON BUSH ADMINISTRATION CLAIMS ON FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS
Today's Washington Post cited that an unnamed White House official who admitted that the idea to address fuel economy standards was come up with "on the fly." http://tinymce.moxiecode.cp/mce_temp_url
Under pressure from public outcries at the President's Energy Policy, the White House has forgotten to check the Facts on Fuel Economy standards.
Bush Claim: I DON'T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO RAISE CAFE STANDARDS FOR CARS
FACT: The U.S. Code provides authority for The President to set CAFE standards for cars:
Section 32902 § 32902 (c).
(c) Amending passenger automobile standards.
(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Secretary of Transportation may prescribe regulations amending the standard under subsection (b) of this section for a model year to a level that the Secretary decides is the maximum feasible average fuel economy level for that model year. Section 553 of title 5 applies to a proceeding to amend the standard. However, any interested person may make an oral presentation and a transcript shall be taken of that presentation.
Bush Claim: RAISING CAFE STANDARDS IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY
FACT: The 2001 National Academy of Sciences report on CAFE Standards concluded that existing technologies could be used to reduce fuel consumption:
Finding 5. Technologies exist that, if applied to passenger cars and light-duty trucks, would significantly reduce fuel consumption within 15 years.
Bush Claim: RAISING CAFE STANDARDS WOULD THREATEN VEHICLE SAFETY
FACT: At a February 9, 2005 hearing in the House Committee on Science, Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) asked auto industry experts - including Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers representative Michael Stanton - if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, "the only way to increase CAFE standards is to make vehicles lighter and therefore less safe." All three said they disagreed.
Bonus Fact Check: THE CHENEY ENERGY PLAN RECOMMENDED INCREASING CAFE STANDARDS:
"The NEPD Group recommends that the President direct the Secretary of Transportation to:
* Review and provide recommendations on establishing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards with due consideration of the National Academy of Sciences study to be released in July 2001." [p. 4-11:]
"Opportunities for reducing oil demand in the transportation sector include increasing conservation, vehicle efficiency, and alternative fuels...For example, an increase in the average fuel economy of the on-road vehicle fleet by three miles per gallon would save one million barrels of oil a day, or about half of the global shortfall between supply and demand that triggered the oil price increases since 1998." [emphasis added, p. 4-10:]