Motor-vehicle fuel economy: The forgotten hydrocarbon control strategy?
For the past twenty years, energy and environmental analysts in the U.S. have been searching for ways to improve urban air quality and make the country less vulnerable to supply and price volatility in the world oil market. To improve urban air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a number of state air-quality agencies favor controls on emissions of non-methane hydrocarbons, which are one of the main contributors to ozone formation, and which are emitted along the entire fuel production-and-use chain, from drilling for oil through oil refining and gasoline marketing, to vehicle tailpipe emissions. To reduce oil consumption, some analysts and policy makers have suggested that the fuel economy of motor vehicles be increased substantially. These policies--to control emissions in order to improve air quality, and to increase fuel economy in order to reduce oil consumption--have always been considered separately in the U.S. In this paper we connect emission reduction policy with fuel-economy-improvement policy. We also examine a related issue: Does the side benefit of lower emissions due to improved fuel economy mean that fuel economy standards should be set even higher? Typically, when analysts estimate how high fuel economy standards should be, they compare the extra costs of efficiency-improving technology (including perhaps such things as reduced safety and performance) with the benefits of reduced fuel consumption. Such cost-benefit analyses have indicated an "optimal" level of fuel economy (where benefits balance costs) of between 30 and 40 mpg, depending on assumptions and methods. However, the analyses done to date have not counted the potential reduction in emissions as a benefit of improved fuel economy. We do so here, by assuming that the value of a ton of emissions eliminated by higher fuel economy is equal to the cost of controlling (eliminating) that ton by traditional control means. We find that adding the value of emission reductions to the benefit side of the cost-benefit analysis justifies raising fuel economy standards by an additional one mile per gallon only.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 28 (1994)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/547/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:28:y:1994:i:3:p:223-244. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.