Identifying “Known Unknowns” in the Natural Gas Revolution

Last week, my colleagues and I released a new RFF report, The Natural Gas Revolution: Critical Questions for a Sustainable Energy Future. At one point, I began referring to this document as the “Known Unknowns” report, in reference to a widely quoted Donald Rumsfeld speech. As the former secretary of defense noted, there are certain […]

Research Questions for the Midterm CAFE Review: The Fuel Efficiency Gap

This is the second in a series of blog posts by RFF’s transportation team that will address some of the key research questions for the midterm CAFE review. As the first post in this series described, US standards for passenger vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions are slated to tighten steeply. By 2025, the […]

Research Questions for the Midterm CAFE Review

Our country is about to enter the most important period this decade for the future of transportation and its associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fuel economy and GHG standards for both light-duty vehicles and heavier trucks are slated to tighten, reducing not only oil use but also GHG emissions. There is significant uncertainty about how […]

Best of the Above

It looked like a reverse make-me-do-it  – President Obama in his State of the Union address saying don’t-do-that-again to some of his most committed supporters.  An array of groups had written to him just two weeks earlier about the failings of an “all of the above” energy policy, and the first words in his speech […]

Who Benefits from Flexible GHG Rules?

US climate policy is unfolding under the Clean Air Act. Mobile source and construction permitting regulations are in place. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed draft final rules for the performance of new power plants. Most important, EPA and the states will soon determine the form and stringency of the regulations for existing […]

How Have Recent Fuel Economy and GHG Standards for New Passenger Vehicles Affected the US and European Markets?

In the second post of a two-part series, RFF Fellow Joshua Linn examines how recent standards have affected the type and rate of technology adoption in new vehicles. Click to read the first installment. Concerns about global warming and energy security have caused many countries to tighten passenger vehicle standards for greenhouse gases and fuel […]

Understanding the Tradeoffs of CAFE Standards

In the first of a two-part series, RFF Fellow Joshua Linn explains how vehicle manufacturers respond to tightening fuel economy standards. Click to read the second installment. Though the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have been regulating the fuel economy of US vehicles since 1978, the levels of the standards were pretty much flat […]

Taxing Electricity’s Carbon Emissions at Social Cost

A national tax on carbon emissions would offer an opportunity for deficit reduction and/or tax reform, as well as climate change mitigation. Economists studying taxes on environmental harms, such as carbon emissions, often suggest that the tax be set according to the damage inflicted by the last unit of emissions. In the case of carbon, […]

Solving Carbon Tax Competition Issues

Whether you’re designing a carbon tax or experimenting with a cap-and-trade policy, carbon pricing affects all participants differently. Potential inequality under a carbon tax has been a particular concern for energy-intensive, trade-exposed (EITE) sectors, whose energy-heavy processes and competitive global markets make them particularly vulnerable to carbon pricing disparities across countries. Politicians acting in the […]

Market Shares and Technology Driving Up Fuel Economy in New Vehicles

From the late 1980s to about 2004, the average fuel economy of new passenger vehicles in the United States declined gradually. Then, over the past 10 years, fuel economy jumped suddenly, up almost 20 percent by 2012. In a recent paper, my colleague Shefali Khanna and I ask which end of the production line explains […]