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Major Surgery or Physical Therapy? Why Stability, Balance and Flexibility are the Right Prescription to Put the Renewable Fuel Standard Back on Track

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is in rough shape after a couple years of controversy and uncertainty, and some critics are calling for the removal of major elements of the policy.  But the RFS is needed to maintain steady progress on clean fuels, and such invasive surgery is the wrong prescription to fix what ails it. Instead something like physical therapy is required. Read More

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Shipping Your Stuff Burns 70 Gallons of Fuel Every Year

With the ability to get just about anything you want delivered the next day thanks to services like Amazon Prime and companies like FedEx and UPS, we rarely question how these systems work—and at what cost. Today we are releasing a report called Engines for Change that examines exactly this question. How much oil do trucks and freight really use? What can we do to use less fuel while providing the expected level of service that is so closely woven into our daily lives? Read More

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Oil is Changing: Five Facts About Oil You Should Probably Know from the Carnegie Oil Climate Index

Most drivers think of “fuel” as gasoline or diesel—an erratically priced liquid that powers our cars and gets us places. But gasoline isn’t the only fuel that we use—electricity and biofuels are major players with growing potential—and even oil itself isn’t homogenous. In fact, oil is changing, and though the gasoline or diesel you buy may not have changed, the sources and impacts of producing it are shifting in imperceptible but important ways. This week a distinguished group of experts from across North America released an Oil Climate Index that provides insight, data and models into the changing nature of oil, and what it means for the climate. Read More

Categories: Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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How Bold Skepticism of “The Impossible” Can Help Drive The Future

According to Margo Oge, a former high-ranking official of the EPA, the future of climate-friendly transportation is filled with potential: driverless cars that pick you up “on demand,” car batteries that also help power your home, next generation vehicles that get the equivalent of 243 mpg—the equivalent of 10 gallons of gas to get from Los Angeles to New York City. In her new book Driving the Future, Oge shares an inspiring vision of our transportation future, and as the head of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the Environmental Protection Agency for more than 18 years, she knows as much as anyone about what this future looks like and how to get there. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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USA Today Gets it Wrong – The Benefits of EVs Are Real

USA Today recently published a misleading opinion article on electric vehicles. The author, Bjorn Lomborg, claims that electric car benefits are “just myths” repeating many arguments he has made before and to which we at UCS have responded. Through a combination of cherry-picking data, bizarre assumptions and just plain false information, the author asserts that electric vehicles (EVs) produce more air pollution and similar global warming compared to efficient gasoline cars today and dismisses the potential to clean-up the nation’s electricity grid in the future.

Our own analysis shows the opposite. EVs do in fact provide climate benefits today, and electric vehicles powered by a cleaner electricity grid are a key strategy in cutting our nation’s oil consumption and reducing the threat of climate change. Read More

Categories: Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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The Potential for Clean Fuels in Washington

When I think of Washington State, I think of e-commerce (Amazon), aviation (Boeing), and poorly timed interceptions from one of my alma mater’s finest (too soon?). Yet Washington has a strong reputation as a leader on clean energy too, with one of the cleanest electricity grids in the nation. Washington also has one of the highest rates of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the U.S., and is home to biofuel companies that are turning local crops and used cooking oils into low-carbon fuel for our cars and trucks. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Why Electric Vehicles Matter in Georgia (and your state too!)

Electric vehicles (EVs) are crushing it in Georgia. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. EVs cost less to fuel, are fun to drive, and can greatly reduce your environmental footprint – especially when paired with sources of renewable energy like solar or wind power. Read More

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Here are the Top 5 New Clean Cars for 2015 and 2016

In the market for a new vehicle that can save you money on fuel while reducing global warming pollution? Here are some clean vehicles I recently checked out at the Washington, D.C. auto show that are coming to a showroom near you. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Let the Engineer Speak: On Scientific Free Speech and the Harassment of Experts

Last week, Minnesota engineer and planner Charles Marohn received a letter notifying him of a complaint of misconduct filed against his professional engineering license. Was Mr. Marohn accused of a misstep in his professional engineering practices? No. Rather, the complaint concerned Marohn’s writings on his website, Strong Towns. Read More

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How Oregon Can Fill Up On Clean Fuels

Something big is brewing in Oregon. No, it’s not a new IPA from Portland-based Bridgeport Brewery—though that sounds delightful. It’s the next phase of Oregon’s Clean Fuel Program, a forward-thinking regulation that requires transportation fuel to get steadily cleaner on average, ultimately achieving a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions per unit of fuel in 10 years. Extending this rule is a big deal because approximately one-third of Oregon’s greenhouse gases come from transportation, and Oregon has the in-state resource potential to produce significant amounts of clean fuels. Read More

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