By Steve Milloy, Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing on

The Trump administration has proposed to freeze Obama-era fuel economy standards at 2020 levels to save lives and money. Opponents want to bring the proposed Safe Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule proposal to a screeching halt by claiming that it will cause more deaths than lives saved.

The Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that freezing the Obama standards would reduce car prices by thousands of dollars. Given an average age of a car of about 12 years, lower car prices would get more people into newer and safer cars sooner.  Safer cars combined with less driving anticipated from lower fuel economy is estimated by the Trump administration to reduce traffic fatalities by about 1,000 lives per year.

But opponents like William Schlesinger, an Obama EPA-appointed member of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, says any rollback should also account for premature deaths caused by particulate matter (PM) air pollution from increased tailpipe emissions. “The science is clear that [PM] kills people,” says Schlesinger.

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