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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Review of U.S. and European Regional Modeling Studies of Policies Intended to Reduce Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Author(s): Johnston, Robert A.
  • et al.

With the enactment of a new federal transportation law in 2005, State and regional transportation plans and programs are for the first time required to achieve the objectives of the SAFETEA-LU planning process, which focus on enhancing mobility and supporting economic development, while minimizing conventional emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court held that greenhouse gases are a pollutant and so are covered by the Clean Air Act and, consequently, the USEPA can regulate them. California and 13 other states are now attempting to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles.

The results from over 40 long-range regional scenario exercises performed in the U.S. and Europe demonstrate that substantial reductions in vehicle-miles of travel (VMT), fuel use, and emissions of both criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases are possible using transportation pricing policies and investment priorities that have been demonstrated as acceptable and effective in a modest but growing number of metropolitan areas and regions around the world.

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