White House Says Senate Energy Plan Means More Traffic Deaths

Claims of vehicle downsizing and additional traffic deaths are an "hysterical distortion" and "scare tactics" promoted by the auto industry, says Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

Published: 08-Mar-2002

WASHINGTON - As a sharply divided Senate began debate on energy legislation, the White House said Tuesday the Democratic bill, boosting automobile fuel efficiency, would result in smaller cars and more traffic deaths.

The administration said it also will strongly oppose the bill because it fails to open an Arctic wildlife refuge to oil drilling and would create "an expansive and burdensome" reporting system for climate-changing gases.

Supporters of tougher fuel economy rules said the improvements can be made without making vehicles smaller, using technology already available to automakers.

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