Richard Pombo: Fighting To Protect You From Good Gas Mileage
Many Americans have wondered why, when faced with rapidly diminishing oil supplies and global warming caused by burning fossil fuels, Congressional Republicans have so steadfastly refused to raise the fuel standards imposed on the auto industry. Some have callously suggested that huge campaign donations and PAC contributions by Big Oil might have led our representatives to not necessarily act in our best interests.
According to Richard Pombo, though, his refusal to support higher gas mileage requirements for new cars stems from his deep concern for the safety of his constituents. You see, apparently, increased fuel efficiency would be DEADLIER THAN VIETNAM. This, from his 2002 Earth Day “Facts & Myths” message:
Myth: To reduce American reliance upon foreign oil, we need to conserve resources by increasing the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards on automobile manufacturers.Just meditate on that for a moment. Richard Pombo believes that we should waste our finite oil reserves, spend $3-4 per gallon for gas, fight unending oil wars in the Middle East, and turn our planet into an uninhabitable wasteland due to global warming so that bad drivers will be less likely to kill themselves.
Fact: Increasing CAFE standards not only restricts consumer choice, but it also leads to unnecessary traffic deaths. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) predicts new standards would raise sticker costs between $500 and $2,500 per vehicle. More important, the NAS also estimates that 2,000 additional deaths per year can already be attributed to the downsizing of automobiles forced on by CAFE standards. That's almost 50,000 deaths to date - nearly the number of lives lost in Vietnam. Moving to smaller, lighter vehicles in the 1970s and early 1980s, the NAS concluded, resulted in "an additional 13,000 to 26,000 incapacitating injuries and 97,000 to 195,000 total injuries in 1993" alone.
And he expects us to believe that the $200,000 he’s collected from Big Oil just for his 2006 campaign hasn’t influenced his actions at all.
Of course, it’s probably just a coincidence that the language in Pombo’s “Fact” assertion is lifted directly from talking points provided by the National Center for Public Policy Research, Amy Ridenour’s front group for the energy industry which receives significant funding from Exxon Mobil.
Forget Richard Pombo (R-Tracy).
It’s really Richard Pombo (R-Exxon).