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Preface In an environment of volatile energy prices and increasing calls for the transportation sector to reduce its consumption of imported oil and emis- sions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), the 2007 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee proposed assembling a special com- mittee of experts to inform U.S. policy makers about potential strategies for reducing energy use and GHG emissions from the nation’s personal and freight transportation systems. The Executive Committee proposed a study that would examine the anticipated trends in U.S. transportation energy use and emissions, the challenge involved in altering these trends fundamentally, and candidate strategies and policy options for meet- ing this challenge. With approval by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Governing Board and using internal funds to sponsor the proj- ect, TRB assembled a 16-member committee of experts in economics, policy analysis, vehicle and fuel technologies, and transportation system operations and management to conduct the study under the leadership of Emil H. Frankel. The study’s full statement of task, as accepted by the Governing Board, is presented in Chapter 1. The breadth and ambition of the study’s task led to intense debate and discussion by committee members during deliberations and to numerous e-mail exchanges and two teleconference discussions to produce this final report. The committee met seven times. Several of the meetings included briefings and panel discussions involving outside experts from govern- ment, industry, and academia. These sessions were highly informative and enabled the committee to gain a better understanding of how the transportation system uses energy, how energy consumption and GHG emissions are expected to trend over the next several decades, and the various policies that are now in place and proposed to affect these trends. In addition, a number of related studies on transportation energy use vii
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viii Preface and efficiency, mitigation strategies, and R&D needs were completed by TRB and NRC while this study was under way from 2008 to 2010 (TRB 2009a; TRB 2009b; NRC 2010a; NRC 2010b; NRC 2010c). The insight and information gained from these studies, as well as a number of others from industry, government, academia, and nonprofit research institutions (for example, Schäfer et al. 2009; Sperling and Cannon 2009; OECD 2007; Bandivadekar et al. 2008; Greene and Plotkin 2011), allowed the com- mittee to focus more of its attention on examining the policy challenge inherent in reducing transportation energy use and emissions. The statement of task calls on the committee to refrain from recom- mending policies but to provide an objective review of the policy instru- ments available, including an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each in affecting long-term trends in transportation energy use and emissions. Because of the multitude of ways in which individual policy instruments can be designed, targeted, and applied, it was not possible to examine all of their possible variations and outcomes for a sector as large and diverse as U.S. transportation. For example, how fast and by how much fuel taxes or vehicle efficiency standards are raised will pro- foundly influence the relative prospects of such options for implementa- tion and their effects on energy use and emissions and on other areas of interest to policy makers such as transportation safety, the environ- ment, and the economy. This study is not a modeling exercise aimed at projecting and quantifying the effects of many policy instruments, each designed and structured in alternative ways and applied across one or more modes. The more realistic study goal is to compare the main types of policy options with respect to the main energy- and emissions-saving responses they induce and the challenges and opportunities they present for implementation. Acknowledgments During its information-gathering sessions, which were open to the public, the committee was briefed by the following officials on federal initia- tives and programs to reduce energy use and emissions from transpor- tation: Julie Abraham, Director, International Policy Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;
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Preface ix Jan Brecht-Clark, Associate Administrator for Research, Development, and Technology, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT); Carl Burleson, Direc- tor, Office of Environment and Energy, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. DOT; Sarah Dunham, Director, Transportation and Climate Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Arthur Rypinski, Energy Economist, Office of the Secretary, U.S. DOT; Gloria Shepherd, Associate Administrator for Planning, Envi- ronment, and Realty, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT; and Thomas White, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy. The committee thanks all seven for their presentations. In conjunction with a meeting at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Cen- ter of the National Academies in Irvine, California, the committee invited faculty from the University of California, Irvine, to participate in com- mittee discussions on a series of topics relevant to the study, including the potential for urban land use policies to affect transportation energy use and emissions, the impact of higher fuel prices on motor vehicle travel and motorist interest in fuel economy, and the potential for intelligent transportation systems to increase the energy efficiency of transportation system operations. The committee thanks the following university faculty for joining in these discussions: Marlon Boarnet, Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design and Economics; Stephen Ritchie, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Institute of Transpor- tation Studies; and Kenneth A. Small, Research Professor and Professor Emeritus of Economics. Thomas R. Menzies, Jr., managed the study and drafted the report under the guidance of the committee and the supervision of Stephen R. Godwin, Director, Studies and Special Programs, TRB. Norman Solomon edited the report; Janet M. McNaughton handled the editorial production; Juanita Green managed the book design, production, and printing; and Jennifer J. Weeks prepared the prepublication manuscript, under the supervision of Javy Awan, Director of Publications, TRB. Special thanks go to Amelia Mathis for assistance in arranging meetings and communicating with the committee. In addition, the committee and staff thank Matthew Stepp and Anthon Sonnenberg, Fellows of the National Academies’ Christine
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x Preface Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Program. Both con- tributed analyses and research to the study during its early stages. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. NRC thanks the following individuals for their review of this report: Asad A. Abidi, University of California, Los Angeles; Paul N. Blumberg, Consultant, Southfield, Michigan; Marlon Boarnet, University of Califor- nia, Irvine; Douglas M. Chapin, MPR Associates, Inc., Alexandria, Vir- ginia; John M. DeCicco, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Edward A. Helme, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, D.C.; Henry D. Jacoby, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and Steven E. Polzin, University of South Florida, Tampa. The review of this report was overseen by George M. Hornberger, Vanderbilt University, and C. Michael Walton, University of Texas at Austin. Appointed by NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of the report rests solely with the authoring committee and the institu- tion. Suzanne Schneider, Assistant Executive Director, TRB, managed the report review process. References abbreviations NRC National Research Council OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development TRB Transportation Research Board Bandivadekar, A., K. Bodek, L. Cheah, C. Evans, T. Groode, J. Heywood, E. Kasseris, M. Kromer, and M. Weiss. 2008. On the Road in 2035: Reducing Transportation’s
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Preface xi Petroleum Consumption and GHG Emissions. Laboratory for Energy and the Envi- ronment, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Greene, D. L., and S. E. Plotkin. 2011. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Transportation. Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Washington, D.C. NRC. 2010a. Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. NRC. 2010b. Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States. National Acad- emies Press, Washington, D.C. NRC. 2010c. Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. OECD. 2007. Cutting Transport CO2 Emissions: What Progress? European Conference of Ministers of Transport, Paris. Schäfer, A., J. B. Heywood, H. D. Jacoby, and I. A. Waitz. 2009. Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, Cambridge. Sperling, D., and J. S. Cannon (eds.). 2009. Reducing Climate Impacts in the Transpor- tation Sector. Springer Science and Business Media. TRB. 2009a. Special Report 298: Driving and the Built Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel, Energy Use, and CO2 Emissions. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C. TRB. 2009b. Special Report 299: A Transportation Research Program for Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change and Conserving Energy. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C.
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