Roadmap for a Sustainable Car Industry

John DeCicco, senior fellow for automotive strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund, and author of the Green Book--a rating system for the environmental impact of cars--talks about the regulatory reforms necessary for the car industry.

The article is an exclusive interview wth John DeCicco, senior fellow for automotive strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund:

"The big missing piece of sustainability in this industry is the carbon cap. We can't make the automobiles sustainable unless we do something about fuel, our reliance on oil, and the unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions associated with it."

"To date, the policy framework has been to tackle these things individually without any clear, overarching principle. The individual elements of policy all have their merits, including California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, efforts on renewable fuels, and sustainable transportation in terms of transit, smart growth, land use planning, and so on. To date, the policy framework has been a case where all of these different pieces haven't added up."

"I developed the Green Book and the green score approach in the late '90s. We launched the first edition in 1998. One of the reasons I developed the green score approach was because the debate over alternative cars and fuels back then was much as it is now, the particulars were somewhat different, but there was a cacophony of voices saying, "No, it's going to be electric. No, it's going to be methanol, fuel cells, natural gas, etc." Every proponent of one technology or another would marshal their arguments about why their approach was the best and, ergo, why the taxpayers should support them through subsidies or policies. From a customer point of view there was an unmet need among the public of, "what can I do?" Many of these solutions that were being proffered then, just like unfortunately many of them are today, were really out of reach for the vast majority of consumers."

Thanks to James Brasuell

Full Story: Environmental Defense Fund Explores Strategies for Building a Sustainable American Car Industry

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Just as Important

We need more than green cars and fuel. We need to reduce vehicle miles traveled. To drive less we need to use other modes of transportation. We need to walk more, bike more, and use public transit more. And in order to do this we need to build walkable, bikable, mixed use transit oriented communities.

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