The Trump Administration wants to modify required improvements in fuel standards followed by manufacturers by making them less stringent. This has sparked a debate over the costs and benefits of higher miles per hour requirements for vehicles. Give us an outline of the arguments.
- Administration makes three points for rolling back the requirements
- Higher mph standards encourage more driving, which leads to more deaths
- Higher standards increase vehicle costs, causing drivers to take longer to replace older vehicles with safer new vehicles
- Last, higher standards will cause manufacturers to lower the weight of vehicles, which make them less safe
- Opponents say higher mph do cause people to drive more, but not much
- Opponents also say the argument about pricier vehicles causing slower replacements is too simplistic – ignore borrowing costs and income effects
- Last, on weight, some experts say what is more important for safety is if vehicles are of similar weight – and past mph standards have reduced truck weights most
- Debate will continue
The Economic Perspective is an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.