Argument: Gas prices pressure fuel efficiency; standards are unnecessary
Gattuso, James L. ; Jeffreys, Kent "The Mounting Dangers of the CAFE Mileage Standards". Heritage Foundation. 13 Oct. 1988 - "Although CAFE was first proposed to foster more fuel efficient cars, the average fuel ef ficiency.of cars driven in the U.S. actually began to increase even before standards were enacted. The reason was simple. With gasoline prices rising from 36 cents per gallon in 1972 to 53 cents per gallon in 1974, consumers began to demand more efficient automobiles. The average price of leaded gasoline reached a high of $1.31 per gallon in 1981.l No federal regulation was needed to tell auto makers to improve fuel economy the market was sending an unmistakable signal As fuel prices began to drop in the early 1980s, however, consumers began to look for other important qualities in their cars, like size, comfort, and safety. The effect of CAFE however, was to limit consumer choice by preventing auto companies from making suffi cient numbers of larger cars available. This is unfair to the consumer and damaging to the U.S. economy Forcing Auto Makers Abroad. Retaining CAFE restrictions, for example, could leave Americans no choice but to turn increasingly to foreign cars; it could force U.S. manufac turers to take more of their auto production abroad. According to..one.recent study, enforc ing a 27.5 mpg CAFE standard in 1990 could destroy close to 20,000'U.S jobs, while actual ly increasing U.S. gasoline consumption by about 200 million gallons more dangerous cars. As a result, some believe that eachyear CAFE'could'cause hundreds of highway deaths and thousands of injuries."