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The Opportunity for Agricultural Residues and Manure to Fuel a Sustainable Future

Not all ethanol is created equal. The benefits, or consequences, of this ubiquitous ‘home-grown’ fuel that is blended in nearly every gallon of gasoline sold across the country vary depending on how it is produced and what it is produced from. As my colleague and uber biofuels-wonk Dr. Jeremy Martin has explained, ethanol produced from food, like corn or soybean, does little to reduce the carbon intensity of our transportation fuel and, in some cases, can actually be responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis compared to gasoline. Read More

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On Cars, Trucks, and Beauty in the Backcountry: 4 Lessons from a Summer Roadtrip

For my big summer vacation this year, I spent over a week traveling the mountain west, crossing four states (South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho), traversing eight national monuments and parks, and racking up over 2300 miles. Because even when I’m on vacation I can’t stop thinking about transportation, I thought I’d share a few observations from the trip: Read More

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What Do Ice Cream and Electric Vehicles Have in Common?

It’s a big day on the road to Half the Oil, and a celebratory ice cream cone is in order. Why? Two reasons. First, it’s summer in DC, and it’s hot and muggy. Second, in announcing late last week that they were allowing several new biofuel production methods, known as “pathways,” to qualify under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included electric vehicles charged on biogas made from dairy waste (yes, cow manure) as well as other sources of waste based fuel. It’s further proof our biofuels policy is about more than just corn ethanol. Read More

Categories: Biofuel, Vehicles  

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How Using Oil Affects Our Military, And What We’re Doing About It

Did you know the U.S. military is the largest user of oil in the world? Neither did I, until my UCS colleagues and I teamed up with the good folk at the Truman National Security Project to help tell the story about our military and oil use. Read More

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Cleaner Trucks, Buses, and Freight Projects Poised for Big Boost in California

Moving freight in California produces a lot of pollution. It’s one of the largest sources of smog-forming and diesel particulate emissions and is a growing source of global warming pollution. Fortunately, the recently passed budget in California is good news for making some progress on cleaner freight technology in the coming year. Read More

Categories: Global Warming, Vehicles  

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Good Jobs, Green Jobs: Moving Freight More Efficiently

A couple weeks ago, I noted that we can reduce fuel consumption from the average new commercial truck by 40 percent in 2025. Improving the efficiency of these vehicles is a key component of our overall Half the Oil plan. But one of the reasons why reducing fuel from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is so important is because they are strongly integrated into American commerce—everything you buy ends up on a truck at some point along the way. Read More

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It’s Electric! The Science of Cleaner Vehicles

Guest Bogger

James Nolan, Associate Professor
Department of Biology, Georgia Gwinnett College

Lawrenceville, GA

I’m a biochemist by training, but my family’s leap into Electric Vehicle (EV) driving was not entirely a reasoned scientific choice, initially. We have always been energy-conscious, even before climate change was on our radar. We have always tried to live near our workplaces to save fuel and time. When hybrid vehicles came on the market, we did not seriously consider buying one, because it did not make economic sense for us; our savings on fuel would never match the difference in up-front price of a hybrid at that time.  The BP oil spill on April 20, 2010 changed the equation for us. Read More

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“Your Mileage May Vary”…and for Some of Ford’s Most Efficient Vehicles, It Does

EPA just announced that six of Ford’s 2013-2014 models will need new fuel economy labels.  This represents the third adjustment in as many years to the best source of information for consumers on fuel economy and emissions from light-duty vehicles, so it seems like a great time to talk about just how important it is that manufacturers and the EPA get these labels right. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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#ActOnTrucks: Putting Heavy-duty Vehicles on an Oil Diet

Last month, we announced that new fuel economy and global warming emissions standards could reduce fuel consumption from heavy-duty trucks by 40%. Today, we are releasing a fact sheet that highlights some of the ways we can reach that target if we take action on trucks. You can follow the conversation on Twitter to see how we plan to #ActOnTrucks. Read More

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Lights, Camera, Action! Eight States Release Plan to Put 3.3 Million Electric Vehicles on the Road by 2025.

I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past over the long weekend, and man, it did not disappoint. The movie began with a depiction of a bleak, dark future destined to be humanity’s fate unless – of course – Professor X, Wolverine, Beast, and the rest of the X-Men (and women) step in to save us. Though X-Men is rooted in fantasy, a bleaker future may be part of our reality if we do nothing to limit the impacts of climate change. And, while there are no mutants to save us (yet), we do have several types of electric vehicles (EVs) that can operate nearly emission-free when powered by clean electricity or hydrogen. Read More

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