Stossel repeats Roy Cordato’s point on new federal auto fuel-efficiency standards

Roy Cordato already has warned us of the president’s efforts to “trade blood for oil” by imposing new fuel-efficiency standards on car manufacturers.

John Stossel picks up the same theme with a new column titled “A government that kills.”

The Center for Automotive Research says the new standard will raise the price of cars by about $7,000. You’d need to save a lot on fuel to break even.

But that’s not the worst of it. The new rules will kill people.

Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute explained this to me. The MPG standard “has been killing people for the last 30 years,” Kazman said.

How can that be?

“It forces cars to be … made smaller and lighter. … They are simply worse in just about every type of auto collision.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration actually backs Kazman up. It estimates that smaller cars are responsible for an additional 2,000 deaths each year.

Imagine that — a government safety agency promotes a rule that kills people.

“Think about the minute risks that agencies like Environmental Protection Agency go into a tizzy about. … If any private product had a death toll one fraction of what the miles-per-gallon rules cost, that product would have been yanked off the market years ago.”

Do we at least end up using less gasoline and saving money?

No, given the increased upfront cost of the car. “It is not clear that it saves people money,” Kazman said. “If these technologies in fact save people money, you don’t need a government law to force them down people’s throats.”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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