The 2007 Energy Bill requires the first substantial improvements in Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFÉ) in more than 30 years, and also includes a greatly expanded Renewable Fuels Standard. However, historical trends and future projections suggest that alternative transportation choices also will be essential to achieving reductions from the transportation sector.

Changing urban development patterns, longer distances from home to work and other routine destinations, and the limited availability of other transportation options have resulted in a steadily increasing trend in the time and distances that Americans drive each year. Automobile use (as measured by “vehicle miles traveled” or VMT) has increased three times faster than the U.S. population over the last 15 years. VMT is projected to increase another 59 percent between 2005 and 2030, potentially eroding prospective gains from improved vehicle and fuel standards.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing that will examine trends in carbon emissions from the transportation sector and discuss why vehicles, fuels, and the increasing amount that Americans drive each year (due to changing land use patterns and limited transportation alternatives) all need to be addressed in the context of policy goals to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S.2191), recently reported out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L.110-140), as well as the pending Farm Bill and upcoming transportation legislation represent important opportunities to reduce carbon emissions associated with transportation.

The briefing will address fundamental questions such as:

  • What is the potential for carbon emission reductions in the transportation sector?
  • What are the primary challenges and obstacles to achieving potential reductions?
  • How can federal policies advance or remove barriers to achieving reduction goals?

Speaker Slides