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The Road to Cleaner & Cheaper (Old Version)

The Road to Cleaner & Cheaper (Old Version)

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Published by Consumer Watchdog
This handbook offers solutions for the most visible and pervasive sector of the current oil/environmental crisis: transportation by automobile. Americans travel more than 3.5 trillion vehicle miles per year (not even including occasional long-distance drives). They face often-staggering gasoline costs and emit millions of tons of pollutants. Our assessments and recommendations aim at reducing the use of oil as a personal transportation fuel while offering consumers alternatives that are ultimately both cleaner and cheaper.
This handbook offers solutions for the most visible and pervasive sector of the current oil/environmental crisis: transportation by automobile. Americans travel more than 3.5 trillion vehicle miles per year (not even including occasional long-distance drives). They face often-staggering gasoline costs and emit millions of tons of pollutants. Our assessments and recommendations aim at reducing the use of oil as a personal transportation fuel while offering consumers alternatives that are ultimately both cleaner and cheaper.

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Published by: Consumer Watchdog on May 19, 2009
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09/05/2010

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THE ROAD TO
 
CLEANER & CHEAPER
A Handbook of Transportation and Related Energy Choices2009 and Beyond
Prepared for Consumer Watchdog by Judy Dugan
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................................
 
GRADING THE OPTIONS
 
...............................................................
 
ENERGY MARKET OVERSIGHT AND REGULATION
..................................
 
RENEWABLE FUELS AND CLEAN VEHICLES
..........................................
 
WHO PAYS, WHO BENEFITS
..............................................................INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................BIG-PICTURE POLICY ESSENTIALS .................................................
 
REGULATE ENERGY TRADING MARKETS
.............................................
 
REGULATE U.S. REFINERIES AND FUEL SUPPLIES
..................................ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION FUELS AND VEHICLES ............
 
HYBRID/PLUG-IN HYBRID/ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLES
...............................
 
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
..................................................
 
ETHANOL
....................................................................................
 
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
.................................................
 
BIODIESEL
...................................................................................
 
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
.................................................
 
NATURAL GAS
.............................................................................
 
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
..................................................
 
HYDROGEN
..................................................................................
 
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
..................................................
 
COAL-TO-LIQUID FUELS
.................................................................
 
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
.................................................PAY FOR CHANGE FAIRLY ..............................................................END NOTES ....................................................................................
 
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Page 2
Prepared for Consumer Watchdog by Judy Duganwww.ConsumerWatchdog.org 
 
1. GRADING THE OPTIONS:
In order to spend taxpayer money wisely and make smartchoices about our transportation policy, policymakers mustdistinguish between policies, programs and technologiesthat have a broad public benet and those or which thebenets are narrowly accrued by special interests. Consum-er Watchdog has graded many o the technologies and uelsbeing debated in the planning or America’s energy uture.The details discussed in the handbook are important and o-er some caveats to these grades, but in summary:
Grade A
– Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid and All-Electric vehicles
Grade B
– Ethanol and Biodiesel ueled vehicles
Grade C
– Natural Gas ueled vehicles (higher grade or usein short-haul bus and truck feets)
Grade D
– Hydrogen ueled vehicles
Grade F
– Coal-based transportation uels
2. ENERGY MARKET OVERSIGHT AND REGULATION:
The neglect and demolition o reasonable government over-sight o the oil industry has cost motorists billions o dollarsand wreaked havoc on the economy and the environment.Energy markets and renery operations in particular suerrom lack o modern regulation.There are two crucial sources o unreasonably high pumpprices, both tied to the deregulatory ocus o national ener-gy policy over the past several decades: rapacious specula-tion o commodity traders both in and outside o oil compa-nies and market manipulations by oil reners.Energy commodity markets require a major regulatoryoverhaul to distinguish between pure nancial speculationand transactions involving actual buyers and sellers. Alltrading should be ar more transparent; nancial specula-tors, including nancial trading departments inside major oilcompanies, should also play by tougher rules. These includeputting up more o the value o a trade in each transaction,limits on highly complex trading schemes that can be mis-used and overall limits on daily trades. In order to protectagainst a speculation-driven and distorted global commoditymarket or renewable uels, regulation o biouels must beestablished in concert with the expansion o the biouelsmarket.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 
This handbook oers solutionsor the most visible and perva-sive sector o the current oil/en-vironmental crisis: transportationby automobile. Americans travelmore than 3.5 trillion vehicle milesper year
1
(not even including occa-sional long-distance drives). Theyace oten-staggering gasolinecosts and emit millions o tons opollutants. Our assessments andrecommendations aim at reduc-ing the use o oil as a personaltransportation uel while oer-ing consumers alternatives thatare ultimately both cleaner andcheaper.Consumer Watchdog agrees withproponents o energy efciencyand conservation that both areast, eective ways to reduce alltypes o ossil uel dependence.These solutions are intertwinedwith vehicle use, and addressedhere only in that context, or ex-ample in higher CAFÉ standards.Similarly, attention to mass tran-sit is essential. But mass transitwill not address the problems omillions o Americans who lackaccess to robust urban transit sys-tems—meaning most Americans.In the handbook, we highlightpolicies aimed at more eectivelymonitoring and regulating the oilindustry and ensuring that theclean uels and technologies oour automobile uture don’t be-come the next energy oligopoly.We also grade the various alterna-tive uels in order to help policy-makers and the public assess thechoices or the uture o automo-bile transportation.
Page 3
Prepared for Consumer Watchdog by Judy Duganwww.ConsumerWatchdog.org 

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