Fact #208: March 18, 2002
CAFE Standards Reduce Petroleum Use
According to a study done by the National Academies' National Research Council, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards have reduced gasoline consumption by roughly 2.8 million barrels per day from where it would be in the absence of the CAFE standards. These energy savings translate to a 7% reduction in total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.
The CAFE program achieved these energy savings by
- Contributing to a rise in fuel economy.
- Maintaining fuel economy levels, even during periods when oil prices were dropping and demand for fuel-efficient vehicles was low.
The committee that wrote the study indicates that changes to the CAFE program could further reduce U.S. petroleum dependence and provide additional flexibility to vehicle manufacturers.
Source: Committee on the Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, July 2001, Press Release.