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?
- Vitriolic Abuse Of Anita Sarkeesian: Why The Games Industry Needs Her
- Sam Ting On AMS Results: Dark Matter Might Be One Seminar Away
- Why Natural Gas, Including Fracking, Is Better For The Environment Than Wind And Solar
- Factor In Space Bubbles Or The Terrorists Win
- Mysterious 1808 Eruption - The Real Cause Of The Coldest Decade Of The Last 500 Years
- BICEP2's vision wasn't that strong, Planck says their window was too dusty.
- Triclosan In Utero May Disrupt Growth Of Boys, But BPA Doesn't
- "The potential for a discovery is there Anon. It's in the high-energy data and the antiproton data..."
- "It's amazing to see the PR machine that Ting has put together at work. Not only do we have to wait..."
- ":) Actually amphetamine salts were not sustainable as an ADHD solution for me. They actually did..."
- "Hi Hontas. This caught my eye: That said, it may be that there simply is no strong signal of inflation..."
- "1.) Fundamentally one can never prove any theory. That's what makes a theory different from..."
- Dying brain cells cue new brain cells to grow in songbird
- Being sheepish about climate adaptation
- Asteroid named for University of Utah makes public debut
- Does size matter? MRI imaging sheds light on athletes most at risk for severe knee injury
- Infant cooing, babbling linked to hearing ability, MU researcher finds