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Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

We hear a lot of talk about “blood for oil”. But we hear little about the blood we are wasting to save a little oil. Here is the evidence that fuel efficiency standards are killing far more people than any alleged war for oil.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Overall, a 100-pound reduction in the average weight of passenger cars is estimated to result in 302 additional fatalities, which would be a 1.13 percent increase over the baseline. This overall increase is statistically significant.

From:  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 'Where is Safety in the Fuel Economy Debate? Status Report, Vol. 25, No. 8, September 8, Arlington, Virginia. 1990)

www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/808569.PDF (local Copy)


The smaller cars had a higher injury rate in non-rollover crashes and rolled over much more frequently, resulting in a substantial increase in rollover fatalities . The studies estimated that, on an annual basis, about 1,340 fatalities and 6,300 injuries in single vehicle crashes could be attributed to the reduced size and weight of new vehicles .

From:  http://testimony.ost.dot.gov/test/pasttest/90test/Curry2.pdf  Local with text

Later statement by Curry:

o    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that weight reductions needed to meet a 40 mpg standard could result in up to 1,900 additional deaths and 17,000 serious injuries each year.

o    In addition to the NHTSA study, private studies (including one by Robert Crandall of the Brookings Institution) project even more fatalities.  Crandall's study estimates that the Bryan Bill's 40 mpg standard would increase fatalities 30 to 60 percent over a car's lifetime.  According to Crandall, the substantial weight and steel-content reductions that would be needed to achieve a fleet-wide fuel economy average of 40 mpg could raise the CAFE death toll to between 4,800 and 8,600 deaths per model year fleet.

o    Studies cited by the National Research Council have found the smallest and lightest cars are about twice as dangerous as the largest cars.

From: http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/political-science/speeches/bush.dir/b48.txtp (Local)

Transportation Research Board

In 1993, it would appear that the safety penalty included between 1,300 and 2,600 motor vehicle crash deaths that would not have occurred had vehicles been as large and heavy as in 1976.  Pg 28  of   Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards (2002)  https://www.nap.edu/download/10172

there would have been between 1,300 and 2,600 fewer crash deaths in 1993 had the average weight and size of the lightduty motor vehicle fleet in that year been like that of the mid-1970s. Similarly, it was estimated there would have been 13,000 to 26,000 fewer moderate to critical injuries. These are deaths and injuries that would have been prevented in larger, heavier vehicles, given the improvements in vehicle occupant protection and the travel environment that occurred during the intervening years. In other words, these deaths and injuries were one of the painful trade-offs that resulted from downweighting and downsizing and the resultant improved fuel economy.  pg 70  of Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards (2002) https://www.nap.edu/download/10172

Heritage Foundation:

Auto Cafe Standards: Unsafe and Unwise at Any Level

As it is, the current CAFE standards result in as many as 3,900 additional highway deaths per model-year fleet. The higher CAFE standards sought by the Bryan bill would force Americans truly to pay in blood, increasing the number of highway deaths attributable to CAFE by as much as 8,600 per model-year fleet.

Read this whole article here. (Local Copy)

Competitive Enterprise Institute:

Deadly CAFE: A Dishonest Debate Hits The Senate

But the evidence on this issue comes from no less a body than the National Academy of Sciences, which issued a report last August finding that CAFE contributes to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths per year. Given that this program has been in effect for more than two decades, its cumulative toll is staggering.

Read the whole article here. (Local copy)

National Center for Public Policy Research:

CAFE Standards Kill: Congress' Regulatory Solution to Foreign

Oil Dependence Comes at a Steep Price

According to a 2003 NHTSA study, when a vehicle is reduced by 100 pounds the estimated fatality rate increases as much as 5.63 percent for light cars weighing less than 2,950 pounds, 4.70 percent for heavier cars weighing over 2,950 pounds and 3.06 percent for light trucks.  Between model years 1996 and 1999, these rates translated into additional traffic fatalities of 13,608 for light cars, 10,884 for heavier cars and 14,705 for light trucks.12

*     A 2001 National Academy of Sciences panel found that constraining automobile manufacturers to produce smaller, lighter vehicles in the 1970s and early 1980s "probably resulted in an additional 1,300 to 2,600 traffic fatalities in 1993."13


*     An extensive 1999 USA Today analysis of crash data found that since CAFE went into effect in 1978, 46,000 people died in crashes they otherwise would have survived, had they been in bigger, heavier vehicles.  This, according to a 1999 USA Today analysis of crash data since 1975, roughly figures to be 7,700 deaths for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards.14

*     The USA Today report also said smaller cars - such as the Chevrolet Cavalier or Dodge Neon - accounted for 12,144 fatalities or 37 percent of vehicle deaths in 1997, though such cars comprised only 18 percent of all vehicles.15

*     A 1989 Harvard-Brookings study estimated CAFE "to be responsible for 2,200-3,900 excess occupant fatalities over ten years of a given [car] model years' use."  Moreover, the researchers estimated between 11,000 and 19,500 occupants would suffer serious but nonfatal crash injuries as a result of CAFE.16

*     The same Harvard-Brookings study found CAFE had resulted in a 500-pound weight reduction of the average car.  As a result, occupants were put at a 14 to 27 percent greater risk of traffic death.17

*     Passengers in small cars die at a much higher rate when involved in traffic accidents with large cars.  Traffic safety expert Dr. Leonard Evans estimates that drivers in lighter cars may be 12 times as likely to be killed in a crash when the other vehicle is twice as heavy as the lighter car.18

Read the whole article here   (Local Copy)

Heritage Foundation:

Why the Government's CAFE Standards for Fuel Efficiency Should Be Repealed, not Increased

The evidence is overwhelming that CAFE standards result in more highway deaths. A 1999 USA TODAY analysis of crash data and estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that, in the years since CAFE standards were mandated under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, about 46,000 people have died in crashes that they would have survived if they had been traveling in bigger, heavier cars. 5 This translates into 7,700 deaths for every mile per gallon gained by the standards. 6

Read the whole article here   (Local Copy)


James R. Healey, "Death by the Gallon: Push for Better Mileage Raises Death Tolls," USA TODAY , Special Reprint Edition, reprinted from MONEY , July 2, 1999

The Real Blood for Oil