Because the Obama administration's Climate Action Plan focuses on cutting carbon emissions by more fuel mileage regulations for American vehicles and are too narrowly focused on "tailpipe emissions", it is unlikely to help, according to a steel trade group.
Mandating more cuts in carbon emissions for America by implementing stricter fuel economy regulations is one of the three pillars of the Obama Administration's Climate Action Plan but Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), said "while this is a sound objective, the Administration's strategy to meet this objective is seriously flawed."
Kavanagh says new vehicle regulations which only consider tailpipe emissions are less relevant as vehicles get lighter and engine technologies advance. Citing studies by the University of California-Davis and University of California-Santa Barbara, he noted emissions from materials and vehicle manufacturing can be half of a vehicle's total emissions. Regulatory systems that "ignore this significant portion of a vehicle's total emissions" may not achieve the desired environmental result, especially as vehicles become more fuel efficient. SMDI supports vehicle regulations that consider emissions from all phases of a vehicle's life: manufacturing, use and end-of-life disposal.
"Many materials used for vehicle lightweighting and in alternative drivetrains produce such high emissions when they are made that they may not be overcome by savings during the driving phase," said Kavanagh. "Considering only tailpipe emissions may result in a net increase in vehicle emissions, which is why the only way to ensure a reduction in emissions is to regulate total, or life cycle, vehicle emissions."
"Regulators in the United States and European Union have fallen into the trap of waiting for each other to 'go first' in implementing life cycle based regulations," said Kavanagh. "The concepts are well known, so let's work out the details to get it right."
Information on using a life cycle approach to emissions instead of simplistic MPG goals are available here.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health
- Part II: Bee Deaths And CCD - Flawed Chensheng Lu Harvard Studies Endanger Bees
- Bitcoin And Anonymity: User's Identity Can Be Revealed Much Easier Than Thought
- Not Neonics: Parasites Are Bad For Honey Bees
- Is The Micropower Revolution Here?
- Violence, Sex And Taboo: The Original Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales Back In Print
- Diversity Fatigue: Why Businesses Struggle To Close The Gender Gap
- "A lot of what you call a govt subsidy was in fact a carbon tax that the recent Aus govt removed..."
- " This is the start of an article that just appeared in the news letter Catch the Buzz Over 100..."
- "Dear Anonymous: This article was read by all of the entomologists interviewed, including vanEnglesdorp..."
- "I apologize to you and your peers Matthew. It just seems to me that an organization called the..."
- "It is interesting that the fatigue is found in a study from Australia. Let us compare Aussie..."
- Trial shows new imaging system may cut x-ray exposure for liver cancer patients
- How do our muscles work?
- DNA may survive suborbital spaceflight, re-entry
- Post-medieval Polish buried as potential 'vampires' were likely local
- Arctic conditions may become critical for polar bears by end of 21st century