Achieving California’s Greenhouse Gas Goals: A Focus on Transportation

New Next 10 report analyzes the cost-effectiveness, potential for carbon emissions abatement, and technological feasibility of the transportation policies in the Scoping Plan, including:

  • The "Pavley" regulations or vehicle emissions standards
  • Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation,
  • Senate Bill 375 (SB 375)
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)
  • The "fuels in the cap" component of the AB 32 cap-and-trade program

One key conclusion in the analysis is that the current policies are technologically feasible but limited incentives, unfunded mandates, and other factors may create barriers to implementation. The report makes specific recommendations to address these barriers in order to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals beyond 2020, including:

  1. Increasing certainty around emission reductions, fuel costs and overall travel costs by assessing policy price signals and their impact on consumer behavior.
  2. Supplying resources to support the implementation of the state’s smart growth law, SB 375, and creating enforcement mechanisms.
  3. Designing policies with long-term reduction goals in mind.
  4. Seeking regulatory harmonization with other states that have adopted low carbon fuel standards and other carbon mitigation programs.

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The report includes discussions of:

  • Vehicle emissions standards:
    • How vehicle emissions standards could impact the amount Californians drive; how vehicle sticker prices would be impacted by vehicle emissions standards; the cost impact of the policy on the industry; how much these vehicles will save consumers at the pump; and the value of the health and other benefits of the standards.
  • Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation:
    • California's leadership in driving the nation's markets for ZEVs
  • SB 375:
    • Which strategies to build sustainable communities create the greatest reduction in driving
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS): 
    • How California's fuel providers have met the requirements of the LCFS thus far; the cost-effectiveness of the policy
    • The costs and benefits of cutting the carbon intensity of our transportation fuels; what is likely to be the key to the success of the LCFS
  • "Fuels in the cap" component of AB 32:
    • The possible gasoline price impacts of putting fuels under the AB 32 cap; the related emissions reductions of doing so