U.S. regulators are defending their plan to double gasoline mileage for passenger vehicles as they are accused of submitting a fuel-economy proposal that may lead to more fatalities on the road.
According to a testimony prepared by National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland and Environmental Protection Agency officials for a U.S. House panel hearing, the automakers won’t sacrifice safety for size. In fact, they continue to aim to sell more compact vehicles to improve the fuel economy of entire fleets.
In written testimony for the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees regulations, Strickland said that the agency “will not require any manufacturer to do anything that would have a negative effect on safety.”
In this rule, which was revealed last July, automakers have to improve the average fuel economy of cars available in the U.S. to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This rule is included in President Barack Obama's plan to cut oil imports.
The officials’ testimony explained that the proposal will reduce fuel costs for businesses and consumers. U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. who heads the panel tasked to investigate the issue had sent letters last month to the EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to inform them that an investigation is ongoing on the role that these two agencies had in writing the fuel-economy regulation.
One of those who witnessed the hearing is Jeremy Anwyl, the CEO of auto researcher Edmunds.com. He said that he shares a few of the concerns of Issa and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who heads the regulation subcommittee. [source: BusinessWeek]