Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Applauds Scientific Review of Fuel Economy Plans

Contact: Alex Adams| 202.461.2374 |

Washington, D.C.—In response to the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board to undertake a scientific review of the administration’s revised fuel efficiency standards, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:

“We anticipate this review will paint a more complete picture not only of the current proposal’s inconsistencies and faulty conclusions, but also the effects these revised standards will have on energy use, oil security, and safety. We commend the decision to review, and urge the administration to give the board the time required to complete its analysis. There is a better option that can find a deal between California and the Federal government that will avoid long court battles, save thousands of lives per year, and improve our energy security and economy.”

In extensive comments on the administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking submitted in October, SAFE analysis on lightweighting and vehicle safety and the fuel economy benefits of incorporating autonomous and connected vehicle technologies—in addition to independent analysis—found:

  • Previous agency analysis, and current expert opinion, contradict the findings in the NPRM that freezing fuel economy will save 12,000 lives.
  • New vehicle purchase prices have fallen by three percent since 2013 even as the total Consumer Price Index has risen by eight percent.
  • Electric vehicle sales have increased significantly on a year-over-year basis, reflecting increased consumer acceptance of these vehicles. 2018 sales are at a 50 percent increase over 2017.
  • The proposed rulemaking will increase U.S. gasoline demand by 500,000 barrels per day through the early 2030s—a significant detriment to achieving the administration’s energy dominance goals. The document’s assessment that oil prices will remain low through 2050 contradicts current price assessments and market dynamics, and historical precedent.
  • Agency cost-benefit analysis methodology must be updated to account for the significant military cost of oil dependence, conservatively estimated to be $81 billion per year.

Enacted in the wake of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, fuel economy standards have formed a longstanding defense against oil price volatility and OPEC market manipulation. As the U.S. transportation system is 92 percent dependent on oil, efficiency regulations enhance our nation’s energy security by ensuring the U.S. transport network gets more economic value from every barrel of oil the United States uses. The uniquely global nature of oil prices, where a supply disruption anywhere in the world affects prices everywhere, means oil price volatility engineered by OPEC or from other factors will affect American consumers, regardless of how much oil the U.S. produces.

“We stand on the cusp of a new wave of transportation technology, which promises to bring alternative fuels, connected technologies and a range of innovations that will improve roadway safety and bolster our energy security. Denying these benefits will ensure consumers remain exposed to oil price volatility, and maintain the road safety status quo of tens of thousands of fatalities every year,” Diamond added.


About Securing America’s Future Energy

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.


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