Search Results for low-carbon economy

Photo: Omari Spears/UCS

50% by 2035 National Renewable Electricity Standard Would Boost Economy and Cut Carbon Emissions

, director of energy research, Clean Energy

Today, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and several others introduced The Renewable Electricity Standard Act of 2019, a bill that would more than double the supply of renewable energy from 18% of US electricity generation in 2018 to at least 50% by 2035. It’s a strong proposal that builds on the recent clean energy momentum in the states and establishes a long-term national policy for renewable energy. A new UCS analysis shows that a national renewable electricity standard (RES) of 50% by 2035 would boost the economy, benefit consumers, and put the nation on a pathway to decarbonize the power sector by 2050.

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Photo: Omari Spears/UCS
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The administration considered a number of alternatives in its proposed rulemaking, though none would yield even half the benefits of the current standards. Proposals from automaker trade groups, it turns out, were not any better. Honda’s proposal represents the highwater mark for the industry, though it, too, falls well short of the current standards.

Congress Is Pushing Back on the Trump Fuel Economy Rollback. Why Aren’t Auto Companies?

, senior vehicles analyst

On Thursday, two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees are holding a joint hearing examining the Trump administration’s rollback of fuel efficiency and emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks. The witnesses include the regulators moving forward with this disastrous plan and at least one of the key state regulators opposing it, but one voice likely to be missing from the hearing will be the auto manufacturers themselves, who set this rollback in motion by requesting the President undo the rules in the first place.

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EPA Head Lies about Fuel Economy Fines in Push for Weaker Car Standards

, senior vehicles analyst

In an interview with Bloomberg Media on February 4th, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated that manufacturers have paid $77 million in fines for not complying “with the current Obama numbers,” going on to say that “it’s incorrect to say that the automobile manufacturer can comply with the Obama numbers. We want a more realistic number.”

In waging this war on “the Obama numbers”, Andrew Wheeler is waging a war on facts in order to increase pollution from passenger cars and trucks and force consumers to pay more at the pump, lining the pockets of the oil industry with whom he has met repeatedly in his short tenure at EPA.

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U.S. Army Sgt. Brad Chambers of the California Army National Guard's 649th Engineer Company, 579th Engineer Battalion, 49th Military Police Brigade, from Chico, California, conducts search and debris clearing operations, Nov. 17, 2018, in Paradise, California. Photo: U.S. National Guard.

New National Climate Assessment Shows Climate Change is a Threat to our Economy, Infrastructure and Health

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II, was released today. The much-anticipated report, prepared by a consortium of 13 US federal government agencies, makes clear that climate change is already here—as evident from the worsening flooding, wildfire seasons, droughts, and heatwaves the nation has been experiencing. What’s more, the report highlights that as climate change worsens, risks to our economy, infrastructure, health and well-being, and ecosystems will grow significantly. Urgent action is needed to lower heat-trapping emissions and invest in making our economy and our communities more prepared to withstand climate impacts. Read more >

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Automakers Well Positioned to Meet Fuel Economy Standards

Greg Kempf , UCS

I spent my career as an automotive engineer at GM. During my time in the auto industry I played a hands-on role in putting new technologies on the road, and had a front row seat to view how cars and trucks have become more efficient over time. That’s partly due to the hard work of my colleagues who design and manufacture vehicles and their parts—but also due in part to a strong set of federal standards that have helped drive the technology forward. Read more >

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Massachusetts’s Clean Energy Economy: What the Legislature Needs to Do Now

, Senior energy analyst

Here are four things that need to happen to get some good clean energy legislation over the finish line in MA… Read more >

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Automakers Turn to Climate Deniers in Quest to Lower Fuel Economy Regulations

, senior vehicles analyst

Last month, the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers submitted a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/Department of Transportation calling into question impacts of climate change and tailpipe pollutants in an effort to undercut the need for fuel economy regulation.  The Alliance is the trade group for Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and Toyota, among others.  The report funded by the Alliance was written by industry shills with ties to the Heartland Institute and General Motors, and it flies in the face of automaker claims by the likes of Ford and Toyota that they are taking climate change seriously. Read more >

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Photo: Staff Sgt. Jason Colbert, US Air Force

Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards—Under Fire?

Dr. Kate Whitefoot , UCS

Last year, transportation became the sector with the largest CO2 emissions in the United States. While the electricity industry has experienced a decline in CO2 emissions since 2008 because of a shift from coal to natural gas and renewables, an equivalent turnaround has not yet occurred in transportation. Reducing emissions in this sector is critical to avoiding the effects of extreme climate change, and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions standards are an important mechanism to do so. Read more >

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Savings From Fuel Economy Regulations (Already in the Billions) Keep on Ticking Up

, senior vehicles analyst

By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence, American drivers will have saved another $4,000 in fuel costs thanks to the current fuel economy and global warming emissions regulations.  And that number will keep on ticking upwards with each new vehicle purchase, since the cars and trucks available today continue to improve in efficiency each and every year.  But it hasn’t always been this way—and the current administration seems to want to take us back.

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Fuel Economy Reaches Highest Level Ever as Automakers Continue to Beat EPA Regulations

, senior vehicles analyst

EPA released its annual reports on the fuel economy of new vehicles and how well automakers are complying with regulations—and yet again, new vehicles sold are more efficient than they’ve ever been, while automakers continue to exceed the federal standards. Read more >

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Why Do Fuel Economy Standards Matter With Cheap Gas?

, senior vehicles analyst

With gas prices so low, automakers are claiming that nobody wants fuel-efficient vehicles. But consumers are smarter than that—they know that gas prices fluctuate. Read more >

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Technical Assessment Report on Fuel Economy Regulations: A Quick Guide

, senior vehicles analyst

A few weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a technical assessment report (TAR) looking at the latest and greatest information about the cars we buy, the technologies available to make those cars more efficient, and the ability of manufacturers to meet fuel economy and global warming emissions regulations that are helping to push those technologies to market. Read more >

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No, the Feds did not just Weaken Fuel Economy Standards

, senior vehicles analyst

Yesterday, federal and state regulators released a technical paper on the 2025 fuel economy standards. Despite not being a new regulation—it’s essentially a research document—I woke up today to headlines like “EPA admits defeat on toothless 54.5 mpg decree,” “54.5 mpg target is off the table, U.S. regulators say,” and “Feds: Automakers may not meet fuel economy target.” So what is it everyone is getting wrong? Read more >

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Five Deceptive Tactics Automakers Are Using to Fight Fuel Economy Standards

, senior vehicles analyst

As our federal passenger vehicle efficiency standards come under review, it’s no surprise, sadly, to see a spirited opposition campaign from the nation’s automakers—and one so laden with misinformation.

A couple weeks ago, the Automotive Alliance (a trade group representing a number of automakers, including Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen) released a fact sheet detailing a number of (often bogus) complaints about the fuel economy and global warming emissions regulations of light-duty vehicles that they would like to see remedied in the mid-term review. Read more >

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Dear Automakers: Please Don’t Dismantle the Incredibly Successful Fuel Economy Standards

, senior vehicles analyst

In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) set joint fuel economy and global warming emissions standards for passenger vehicles out to 2025. These standards (taken together with those finalized in 2010), which cover new vehicles sold from 2012 through 2025, represent the biggest step the country has taken to reduce oil use and global warming emissions, and it’s already paying dividends. Read more >

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Climate Risks Are #1 Threat to Global Economy

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Last week the World Economic Forum released the Global Risks Report 2016, which contains a serious wake-up call to those affected by the state of the global economy. That would be… pretty much everyone. Read more >

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EPA Reports Show Automakers Still Ahead on Fuel Economy

, senior vehicles analyst

The EPA released two reports today detailing automakers’ compliance with global warming emissions standards and the technology improvements being deployed to meet these standards. Despite much public consternation from manufacturers about the difficulty in meeting these standards, manufacturers are more than one year ahead of schedule. Read more >

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Fleet Experts Weigh In: Fuel Economy Rules for Trucks Pay Off

, senior vehicles analyst

With fuel such a key expense for truck fleets, one of the questions I get asked the most is—why do we need fuel economy rules? As I outlined in Engines for Change, there are actually a lot of market barriers that can slow investment in efficient trucking, including fuel surcharges and the risk-averse conservatism of a capital-constrained marketplace. But you don’t need to take my word for it: Fleet owners across the country also support fuel economy regulations. Read more >

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30% Renewable Energy by 2030: Udall-Markey National Renewable Electricity Standard Would Boost Economy and Protect Consumers

, director of state policy & analysis, Clean Energy

Today, renewable energy champions Senators Tom Udall (NM) and Ed Markey (MA) teamed up with a few others to introduce S. 1264, a bill that would establish a national renewable electricity standard (RES) that requires the nation’s largest power providers to supply at least 30 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. It’s a strong plan that would for the first time establish a meaningful long-term national renewable energy policy. A new UCS analysis shows that a 30 percent by 2030 national RES would benefit consumers, spur the economy, and help accelerate the nation’s transition to a low-carbon energy future. Read more >

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Dear Chrysler: 5 Reasons Oil Prices Shouldn’t Affect Fuel Economy Standards

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

Lately, low gas prices have been making headlines across the country. Having dropped by more than $1.50/gallon over the last 6 months, there is certainly reason to be talking about them. So it was no surprise when the topic came up at the North American International Auto Show earlier this month in Detroit. The CEO of Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, used the opportunity to call for rolling back vehicle fuel economy standards. This is perhaps not surprising from a CEO who also tells people not to buy his company’s electric cars and who’s company has scored last in 6 out of 7 UCS Automaker Rankings. But his statements on fuel economy appear to be as volatile as oil prices. Just a couple of years ago he stood up with the President and supported the new standards. Read more >

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What Happened at the LA Auto Show? Small SUVs, Hydrogen Cars, and 2015 Fuel Economy Gains

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

Before Thanksgiving, my colleague Lucy and I toured the LA Auto Show. While we confirmed many trends I identified in my previous post, three things stood out: fuel cell vehicles are gaining attention and momentum, small crossover SUVs are racing to market, and some redesigned 2015 models are offering up some significant fuel economy improvements compared to previous models. Read more >

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Cashing in on Earth Day: 10 Activities to Kick-start Low-Carbon Living and Save You Money

, director of state policy & analysis, Clean Energy

With Earth Day just a week away, there is no better time to be thinking about steps you and your family can take to protect the environment and our climate. And the most impactful steps are often the ones that cut your carbon emissions and save you money. Read more >

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Cyber Monday Meets Growing Truck Fuel Economy

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

Yes — it’s that time of year again. The online holiday shopping season is kicking off with another Cyber Monday. And if the trend continues, as it has for the past several years, another online shopping record will fall. I’m sure that’s welcome news to the likes of UPS and FedEx. But there’s another trend starting as well that should be good news for all you online shoppers out there (myself included). The trucks that move all those goods from factory, to warehouse, to your door are burning less fuel and creating less carbon emissions. Read more >

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LA Auto Show: Showing the Way to Doubling Fuel Economy

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

New fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules were finalized by the Obama Administration this past year that go out to 2025, more than a decade away. The standards have enjoyed strong support from consumers and automakers alike. But as with most big steps forward, there are always some naysayers. To the naysayers, I say come to the LA Auto Show. The variety of technologies automakers are employing to make big gains in fuel economy are wide-ranging. And it is with this menu of technologies that automakers can meet the standards set for 2025 and beyond. Read more >

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Off-shoring Opposition To Vehicle Fuel Economy: Toyota Stalls Mexican Standards

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

What’s the bestselling car in California? For the first 9 months of 2012, it was Toyota’s family of Prius hybrids. One might assume that a car company with such a successful vehicle efficiency technology — a technology they recently announced will be in as many as 21 models by 2015 — wouldn’t stand in the way of  making more efficient vehicles available to millions of car buyers in Mexico.  Well think again. Read more >

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