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
July 11th, 2014
April 25th, 2014
The good folks over at Consumer Reports recently released a months-long survey that examined how much car salespeople knew about electric vehicles (EVs). It turns out that some dealerships were not entirely helpful when it came to discussing EVs and in some instances actually steered customers away from EVs and toward gas-powered conventional vehicles. Read More
April 2nd, 2014
You may have heard a lot recently about electric vehicles (EVs). Sales of EVs are up, manufacturers are beginning to offer a variety of EV models – from sportscars to sedans – and our recent analysis found that 42 percent of American households with a vehicle could use an EV.
So, why are car buyers getting more enthused about EVs? Since I’m not an EV owner myself (I continue to rely on my 25 year old Panasonic “collectors” bicycle – and by “collectors” I mean rusting hunk of Japanese steel), I asked UCS members who drive EVs what they like about driving on electricity. Read on to hear their stories and find out the top 7 reasons to consider an EV. Read More
February 28th, 2014
Earlier this week a public call to reduce our oil use got some good national attention in this New York Times op-ed penned by Admiral Dennis C. Blair, a former director of National Intelligence and former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, and General Michael W. Hagee, the 33rd commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
These two gentlemen make the case that reducing our oil use is critical to safeguarding our country (and our wallets) against oil supply and price shocks. They make the astute point that no matter where our oil comes from, we are still vulnerable to the whims of the global oil market because our transportation system remains almost completely dependent on oil as an energy source. Read More
February 25th, 2014
For the past several weeks the eyes of the world were glued on Sochi, watching the XXII Olympic Winter Games. But that’s not the only global contest I’m interested in. The U.S. and countries around the world are also racing to reduce their oil use and global warming emissions from transportation. Developing a cleaner transportation economy may not seem as exciting as a ski-cross photo finish, but it has major implications for our future. Read More
January 9th, 2014
November 8th, 2013
When it comes to investing in clean transportation solutions, Norway is doing it right. Or should I say, Norway is gjør det riktig. The country famous for Vikings, the perfect complement to bagels and cream cheese, and Johan Olav Koss, is also a good example of a country working to reduce their oil use through transforming their transportation sector.
September 19th, 2013
Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition. This event provided an opportunity for chemists to collectively geek out about non-oxidative conversions, triazollium-based ionic liquids, and rhodium catalysts — for example — and for chemical supply companies to showcase contraptions that jostled, stirred, shook, rotated, inverted, injected, and swirled chemical compounds. This all made very little sense to me as a non-chemist, though I came close to purchasing a turbo vortex evaporator, just to say I own one, but please don’t ask me what it does.
What made sense to me as a transportation policy analyst, however, was the amazing potential of these studies and equipment to dynamically impact our transportation future, especially when it comes to hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) — a technology that is a piece of our plan to cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years. Read More
August 26th, 2013
If you follow UCS, you are probably aware that electric vehicles are clean, cheap to fuel, and an important part of our plan to reduce projected oil consumption by half within 20 years. You may not be aware, however, that you can now add another important feature to the list of benefits derived from electric vehicles; safety.
July 29th, 2013
There are folks who will tell you that as American citizens, we have a solemn responsibility to complain about taxes. And ideological bluster aside, they have a point: our tax code is a complete mess. The latest attempt at taking a legislative mop to this mess comes from the Senate Finance Committee, led by Chairman Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Hatch (R-UT). These two members recently outlined a proposal to “wipe the slate clean” and start tax policy over from scratch. Read More