Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Proposed Mileage Standards Would Kill More Americans than Iraq War

The Obama administration’s proposed mileage standards that will be announced today may kill more Americans at a faster rate than the Iraq War — his signature issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama’s standards will require automakers to meet a 35 miles-per-gallon standard by 2016 — four years earlier than the same standard imposed by the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007. As discussed in my new book “Green Hell,” the only way for carmakers to meet these standards is to make smaller, lighter and deadlier cars. The National Academy of Sciences has linked mileage standards with about 2,000 deaths per year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every 100-pound reduction in the weight of small cars increases annual traffic fatalities by as much as 715. The Natural Resources Defense Council said that the 35 MPG standard would save about one million gallons of gas per day. So how does that savings balance against the 2,000 fatalities per year that the National Academy of Sciences says are caused by those same lighter cars? For the sake of being utilitarian, let’s generously assume that the mileage standards reduced the price of gasoline by $1. That would translate to daily savings of $1 million. Is that savings worth killing more than five people per day, plus other non-fatal injuries and property damage?...CNSNews

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your facts are all wrong. The NRDC website says increasing the gas mileage standard to 35 mpg will save 1.2 million BARRELS of oil per day by 2020, not GALLONS (http://www.nrdc.org/media/2007/071206a.asp). Since a barrel is 42 gallons, this means we would save approximately 50 million gallons of gas per day. Secondly, you are not saving $1 per gallon. If you say very conservatively that gas will cost $2.50 per gallon, that means you are saving $125 million dollars per day.


I think you need to check your facts more closely.

The Westerner said...

Thanks for your comments.

The facts are those of the article I excerpted and linked to, not mine.