IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Intermodal traffic, regulatory change and carbon energy conservation in US freight transport

Listed author(s):
  • John Bitzan
  • Theodore Keeler
Registered author(s):

    Conserving transport carbon emissions is an important policy goal. Conventional wisdom often holds that conservation is best achieved by increased regulation, and that such gains are best achieved in passenger auto transport (fuel efficiency standards or diversion to transit). We argue that the growth of rail freight has conserved carbon fuel use in the United States, and that fuel-saving changes have been facilitated by reduced regulation since 1980. Methods used include estimation of translog cost functions (and related demand functions for fuel) for intermodal rail and for truck, allowing controlled comparisons of modal fuel use. We find intermodal rail (e.g. trailer on flatcar) to be a powerful conserver: if intermodal rail were eliminated, and traffic transferred to over-the-highway truck, extra annual carbon emissions would be nearly 25 Tg. By comparison, if urban passenger transit were eliminated and replaced by autos (according to one study) the extra annual emissions would be only 3.9 Tg.

    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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    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.

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 27 ()
    Pages: 3945-3963

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:27:p:3945-3963
    DOI: 10.1080/00036841003742603
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:27:p:3945-3963. 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: (Chris Longhurst)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.