Fuel efficiency choice personal | TheUnion.com

Fuel efficiency choice personal

Regarding promoting higher fuel efficiency standards, as espoused by Daschle, Kerry and other Democrats in Washington, D.C.:

Every gallon of fuel efficiency gained brings about an average of 7,000 extra deaths. The primary way to achieve higher fuel efficiency is to make cars lighter and smaller, which doesn’t protect their occupants well in an accident. The 6 miles-per-gallon efficiency gained over the last 20 years has resulted in an additional 46,000 traffic deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 302 extra people die for every 100 pounds cut from the average car weight. So far, people have a choice of what they want to drive; highly evolved fuel-savers can bicycle or drive scooters, and some of us working types like to drive full-size trucks capable of hauling lumber, firewood, etc, or even pulling trailers. Many people put a high priority on safety, so they buy a heavier, less fuel efficient car, such as an SUV. Additionally, now that car seats are required until 6 years or 60 pounds, a family with more than two children must have an SUV or minivan to be able to fit three kids in car seats away from the front seats. Parents don’t want to be forced to buy a vehicle that endangers their children. Yet that is precisely what the higher CAFE standards would do. As for sources of new fuel, the U.S. could be almost self-sufficient if we would allow careful drilling in Alaska or off the coast. We need to allow people to choose their own mode of transport and quit letting self-righteous politicians try to mandate it for them.

Virgil Buhler

Nevada City

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