Discussion Paper - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Policy Options for Reducing Oil Consumption and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from the U.S. Transportation Sector

ETIP Discussion Paper

Overview

The goal of this discussion paper is to contribute to the current policy debate about how to effectively limit or reduce oil consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions from the U.S. transportation sector.  The paper explains what is wrong with the status quo and therefore why new policies are needed.  It examines special policy challenges in this domain, and analyzes the pros and cons of individual policy measures.  Finally, the paper explores the probable overall effects of several illustrative policy packages. 

Policies outlined include:

  • Fuel-economy standards
  • Greenhouse gas performance standards for vehicles and for fuels
  • Volumetric requirements for biofuels
  • Carbon tax on transportation fuels
  • Economy-wide greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program
  • Transportation sector cap-and-trade program
  • Transportation fuels cap-and-trade program
  • Feebates
  • Tariffs on imported fuels and vehicles
  • Research, development, and demonstration in advanced transportation technologies
  • Tax incentives and government purchasing

A white paper will be issued in early fall 2007 that will provide a new proposal for addressing oil security and climate change in the U.S. transportation sector, taking into account comments received on the content of this discussion paper.  

This paper is one product of ETIP's Innovation in Transportation project.

For more information on this publication: Please contact Energy Technology Innovation Policy
For Academic Citation: Gallagher, Kelly Sims, Gustavo Collantes, John P. Holdren, Henry Lee, and Robert Frosch. “Policy Options for Reducing Oil Consumption and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from the U.S. Transportation Sector.” Discussion Paper, Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center, Summer 2007.

The Authors

Kelly Sims Gallagher

Henry Lee