December 2005 Issue
Your desire to promote lower gasoline consumption and more fuel-efficient cars is laudable (First Word, November 2005), but having more stringent CAFE standards is not the panacea it seems. In 2002, the Committee on the Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy, National Research Council, released a study of the past and possible future effects of more stringent CAFE standards.
They found that market incentives—higher prices and resultant consumer demand—were more effective at reducing fuel usage than the CAFE standards were. More stringent standards also don’t have the direct effects that most people assume and sometimes result in negative...
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