The SAFE Rule: Sham Acronyms Foul Environment

Some Possible Replacement Phrases for the Trump Administration Rollback

In the original proposal to eviscerate national car standards to reduce carbon pollution, the Trump Administration used a  made-up justification:  lower standards would lead to safer cars.  Hence the Administration originally named the rollback of the standards the “SAFE” Rule.  SAFE stands for “Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient” Vehicle Rule.

But the justification was a sham.  Even though administration officials claimed that “the rule promises to save lives,” the math used in the original proposal to justify that claim – which would have frozen the standards at 2020 levels —simply doesn’t add up.   The Trump Administration went back to the drawing board, issued a proposal that significantly weakens the Obama standards but doesn’t freeze them altogether and, “virtually abandoned the safety justification.”  In fact, even the administration acknowledges that its new rule would pour almost a billion additional tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere and make the air dirtier.  But it kept the name “SAFE” anyway.  Cara suggested  that replacing SAFE with WORSE: Worsening Oil Reliance and Smog Everywhere (WORSE) Vehicles Rule would be more accurate. Another option, given that we seem to be stuck with the acronym SAFE, is to spell out what it actually means.

Since we now know that the safety justification was simply a makeweight to support the fossil fuel industry by making consumers drive cars that would guzzle more gas, I think we need a new phrase to justify the SAFE acronym. That’s  because Sham Acronyms Foul the Environment.  I’ve crowd-sourced some ideas and here  are some replacement possibilities:

Selling our Atmosphere to Fossil Fuel Emitters

Sabotaging America’s Future Environment

S*@%ing on America’s Future Environment

Selling Autos for Easter

Sophistry About Fossil Enabling

Stinker Air for Everyone

Smoggier Air for Everyone

Specious Assumptions and Fraudulent Economics

Sloppy Analysis Feeds Entropy

Sorry About Future, Everybody!

Smog Acceleration From Evildoers and

Skip Arithmetic, F&@! Everyone

Surely Already [email protected]#*ed Environment

Somehow Another Foolish Effrontery

Sh*&#tiest Administration F’s Up Everything

Such Abhorrent Fake Equivalences

Soon Apocalypse Fries Everyone

Safeguarding a Fossil-based Economy

Such a Fake Equivalency

Same A*%holes F-ing Everybody



The suggestions so far come from friends, neighbors, parents of my kids’ friends, law professors, family members, and colleagues.  Add your own suggestions or give a shout out to your favorites in the comments section.

, , ,

Reader Comments

About Ann

Ann Carlson is currently on leave from UCLA School of Law. She is the Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and was the founding Faculty Director of the Emmett I…

READ more