National Energy Policy Institute

Energy Policies for Passenger Transportation: A comparison of costs and effectiveness

Publication Date: June 23, 2010

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Energy Policies for Passenger Transportation: A comparison of costs and effectiveness: Kenneth A. Small (University of California-Irvine)

The U.S. transportation sector accounts for approximately two thirds of the country’s total oil consumption, and is almost wholly dependent on oil as the source of transportation fuels. It also accounts for over one quarter of all GHGs emitted in the United States. This technical report analyzes a variety of broad policies simultaneously aimed at reducing the use of oil for vehicle fuels and at reducing transportation sector emissions. These include fuel economy standards, gasoline taxes, and a feebate system that subsidizes the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles while penalizing the purchase of gas guzzlers. Broader impacts of the policies are also discussed, such as their impact on local air pollution, the international competitiveness of U.S. auto manufacturers, and their distributional impacts across different household income groups.

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