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Pollution Control and Energy Conservation: Complements or Antagonists? A Study of Gasoline Taxes and Automobile Fuel Economy

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  • Molly Espey

Abstract

Energy conservation regulations, such as fuel taxes and fuel economy mandates for automobiles, are often assumed to reduce air pollution in lock step with the reduction in fuel consumption. Under the current system of tailpipe emissions regulations in the United States, this is not necessarily true. This paper uses a simple graphical analysis to illustrate the relative impact of fuel taxes and fuel economy standards on pollution levels given the current tailpipe emissions standards and an alternative emissions standard. Under current tailpipe emissions standards, increases in fuel economy would actually raise emissions, and significantly larger fuel taxes would be required to achieve the same level ftollution reduction as under the proposed alternative standard. These results confirm earlier findings that used mathematical and stochastic simulation methods to address this issue.

Suggested Citation

  • Molly Espey, 1997. "Pollution Control and Energy Conservation: Complements or Antagonists? A Study of Gasoline Taxes and Automobile Fuel Economy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 23-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1997v18-02-a02
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    Cited by:

    1. Kayser, Hilke A., 2000. "Gasoline demand and car choice: estimating gasoline demand using household information," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 331-348, June.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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