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Über dieses Buch

Seventy percent of the oil America uses each year goes to transportation. In Transport Beyond Oil, leading experts show how to slash that statistic and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

The authors demonstrate that smarter development and land-use decisions, paired with better transportation systems, can dramatically lower energy consumption. John Renne calculates how oil can be saved through a future with more transit-oriented development. Petra Todorovitch examines the promise of high-speed rail. Peter Newman envisions 100% oil-free cities through the development of electric-transit, renewable natural gas, and other sustainable energy sources. Additional topics include funding transit, freight transport, and nonmotorized transportation systems. Each chapter provides policy prescriptions and their measurable results.

Transport Beyond Oil delivers practical solutions, based on quantitative data. This fact-based approach offers a new vision of travel that is both transformational and achievable.



Introduction Moving from Disaster to Opportunity

Introduction Moving from Disaster to Opportunity

Transitioning the Transportation Sector from Oil Dependence
In the spring and summer of 2010, America was transfixed by the image of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from the collapsed remnants of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. Images of majestic pelicans floundering in oil and the personal stories of the eleven crew members who lost their lives when the oil platform exploded were interspersed with camera shots of the seemingly never-ending stream of oil emanating from a broken pipe a mile below the Gulf’s surface. While the Deepwater Horizon disaster became the poster child for corporate greed and neglect, few considered how America’s transportation dependence on oil helped stimulate demand for the oil pouring into the Gulf. Seventy percent of all oil consumed in the United States goes to the transportation sector, mostly powering single-occupant vehicles that Americans use for 82 percent of all trips.1
John L. Renne, Billy Fields

Petroleum Consumption Impacts and Trends


1. The Role of Transportation in Climate Disruption1

The Earth’s rapidly warming temperatures over the past several decades cannot be explained by natural processes alone. The science is conclusive: both man-made and natural factors contribute to climate change. Human activities—fossil-fuel combustion in transportation and other sectors, urbanization, and deforestation—are increasing the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. These record levels of greenhouse gases are shifting the Earth’s climate equilibrium.
Deborah Gordon, David Burwell

2. Oil Vulnerability in the American City

This chapter investigates the varying intersection of volatile petroleum markets and housing finance pressures with household socioeconomic status and urban structure, using six American cities (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Portland) as case studies. The chapter responds to two important economic phenomena seen over the past several years. The first is the sharp growth and volatility in global petroleum prices between 2004 and 2012, which mark a dramatic departure from predominantly stable and low prices seen since World War II. The result of the post-2004 oil price gains has been marked gains in the cost of fuel in most nations, which in turn have raised concerns about the effect of higher fuel prices on the household sector. Oil prices remain extremely volatile—rising from around $40 per barrel in 2004 to over $145 in mid-2008 before dropping to $30 per barrel in 2009 and then rising again to over $100 in 2011 and finally falling to $85 per barrel, where it sits today. The result has been higher gasoline prices in US cities of around $4 per gallon.
Neil Sipe, Jago Dodson

3. Full Cost Analysis of Petroleum Consumption1

Petroleum production and distribution imposes various economic, social, and environmental costs, including many that are nonmarket (involving resources that are not normally traded in competitive markets, such as human health and environmental quality), and external (costs are imposed on others).2 It is important to consider all of these impacts when making policy and planning decisions, such as evaluating energy conservation policies and efficient fuel-tax levels.
Todd Litman

4. How Does Induced Travel Affect Sustainable Transportation Policy?

Induced travel has long been debated among transportation professionals and frequently ignored by planners when considering policy. (Induced travel refers to the observation that congested roads quickly gain new traffic after they have been expanded.) In fact, this has been observed since Western nations began to motorize and to construct major road facilities.1 Policy initiatives to implement more sustainable transportation systems frequently overlook the role that increased road capacity can play in undermining the objective of achieving greater sustainability. This chapter examines the theory and available evidence on induced travel effects and links this knowledge to policy considerations for achieving sustainable solutions, including the impact on oil dependence.
Robert B. Noland, Christopher S. Hanson

5. Bending the Curve

How Reshaping US Transportation Can Influence Carbon Demand
Pulling back the lens from the memorable image of the broken pipe miles underwater spewing crude oil into a rich Gulf ecosystem brings into focus an energy crossroads ahead. Call it “extreme drilling”—the energy industry’s analog to sports—which trades potentially high returns for skyhigh economic and environmental risks. This once-minor side of the energy industry is rapidly becoming mainstream, and it’s worth asking why.
Deron Lovaas, Joanne R. Potter

Transportation and Oil Dependence: A Modal Analysis


6. Public Transportation as a Solution to Oil Dependence

Hurricane Katrina’s landfall on the Gulf Coast was a stark reminder of the American dependence upon petroleum for transportation. Among the many deep and significant impacts following the disaster was a dramatic spike in domestic gasoline prices. Data in figure 6.1 indicate that average retail gasoline prices in the United States rose by 20 percent in a week after the hurricane, and the timing of the disruption at the end of the summer peak travel season further emphasized the importance of the price of gasoline to most Americans.
Bradley W. Lane

7. Taking the Car out of Carbon

Mass Transit and Emission Avoidance
The transportation sector is the largest consumer of fossil fuels and the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the United States. Top-billed strategies to reduce fuel consumption, namely “fleet fuel-efficiency” and “decarbonization” are not likely to deliver the required reductions of fuel consumption and GHG emissions. For the transportation sector to meaningfully reduce its footprint, there has to be a shift away from personal automobiles to public-transportation—and the lifestyle that comes with it. Livable communities where walking and bicycling are viable, and where residences and businesses are smaller and situated more closely together, are the solution, rather than a continuation of the auto-centric paradigm, even with greater engine efficiency and/or electrification of fleet. Conceptually, the big reduction opportunity lies not in taking the carbon out of the car, but in taking the car out of carbon. In other words creating communities where the car is not the only means of transportation or even the preferred means; rather than communities where cars still rule, with a modification that powers them with electricity.
Projjal K. Dutta

8. High-Speed Rail and Reducing Oil Dependence

In 2008–2009, the US Congress passed a series of bills authorizing and appropriating funds to improve passenger rail service in the United States. The bills included provisions for building new high-speed rail systems of the sort that can only be found in Europe and Asia today. These funds added up to $10.1 billion in grants for passenger rail, of which $3.9 billion have been devoted to building a new, statewide, high-speed rail system in California. In total, 32 states have received planning or construction grants for passenger rail under the new High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program launched by the Obama administration in 2009 (fig. 8.1).
Petra Todorovich, Edward Burgess

9. The Challenges and Benefits of Using Biodiesel in Freight Railways

The recent history of biofuels, particularly biodiesel fuel, in the United States has been a turbulent one. After an initial boom in the production of biodiesel and a huge expansion in capacity in advance of expected increases in demand, the bottom fell out of the market by the end of 2010. Annual biodiesel production, which had approached 700 million gallons in 2008, fell to just over 500 million gallons by 2009 and reached the lowest point at only 340 million gallons in 2010.1 Since then, however, the boom times have returned; 2011 saw the highest-ever level of production, at almost a billion gallons.2 Much of this ebb and flow has been caused by the policy environment faced by biodiesel producers. Since the 1970s, federal efforts have broadly favoured increased production of biofuels, particularly corn-based ethanol. Since the 1990s, those encouragement efforts have expanded to include biodiesel production.3 The enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and, more recently, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 have mandated increased biofuel penetration into the transportation fuel market.4 By diversifying the transportation fuel mix, federal policies aim to improve energy security and environmental performance, although the latter is more controversial than the former.5 Together, these actions have created a market for biofuels as a substitute for its petroleum counterparts. Of particular interest is the market for biodiesel, an overshadowed alternative to the more popular corn-based ethanol gasoline substitute.
Simon McDonnell, Jie Jane Lin

10. Healthy, Oil-Free Transportation

The Role of Walking and Bicycling in Reducing Oil Dependence
In a country where many view bicycles as mere toys and walking as a relic of a bygone era, why would anyone posit that walking and bicycling (or “active transportation”) are essential to a serious strategy to rein in America’s oil dependence? The simple answer is that overreliance on motor vehicles is at the center of our oil dependence, and walking and bicycling are the most cost-effective ways to curb a substantial portion of projected growth in vehicle-miles traveled. A convergence of popular demand for safe and convenient places to walk or bicycle and fiscal constraints that compel policy makers to make the most of every tax dollar add up to a compelling case for increased investment in active transportation as an integral piece of our strategy to manage our nation’s oil dependence.
Kevin Mills

11. Building an Optimized Freight Transportation System

The United States of America created a transportation system for both passengers and freight that was based upon a reality that no longer exists. Cheap, abundant, and largely domestic oil as well as an endless supply of land for expansion were all assumed. Fuel taxes too low to pay for maintenance and eventual replacement of the roads were levied, and we assumed that point-to-point trucking over “free”-ways was the most efficient way to deliver goods—efficiency being measured solely by time and flexibility.
Alan S. Drake

Moving Forward


12. Imagining a Future Without Oil for Car-Dependent Cities and Regions

The period from the 1930s to 2008 was the era of cities based on the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). The Global Financial Crash (GFC) of 2008 and the issues of peak oil and climate change seem to have ended the domination of this technology, though it will take some time for it to phase out. The limitations of ICE technology have exercised the minds of many technologists and regulators who have struggled to make cleaner and greener cities that have less smog. But the biggest force driving the need to phase out ICE-based mobility is the problem of oil. As oil production reaches its decline phase, the overwhelming need to find more oil has led to more and more dangerous deep-sea oil wells and options like burning rocks filled with tar sands or deep fracking of trapped oil.
Peter Newman

13. The Pent-Up Demand for Transit-Oriented Development and Its Role in Reducing Oil Dependence

Contributors to this book have discussed America’s oil dependence and have offered some creative solutions that focus on making transportation systems more sustainable and oil-free. However, as some authors in the book have noted, transportation-only solutions are not enough; we also need to create communities that facilitate transit use, walking, and bicycling through the design of the built environment. This chapter focuses on the role of transit-oriented development (TOD) in reducing oil dependence.
John L. Renne

14. Deteriorating or Improving?

Transport Sustainability Trends in Global Metropolitan Areas
There is little doubt about the growing recognition worldwide that cities need to become more sustainable in their transport patterns. The world‘s seven billion people are increasingly locating in cities, thus placing unprecedented pressure on urban transport infrastructure and making it increasingly difficult for cities to help to ameliorate urgent global challenges such as climate change and the host of other more regional and local environmental issues facing people all over the planet. Arguably for pure economic reasons, we must also address the way cities develop, for cities are clearly the economic engines of nations.2 If human economic well-being is to improve, it must do so in a way that is not utterly damaging to the ecological systems that underpin all life. Indeed, cities must start to regenerate and repair their environments and become what are now termed Regenerative Cities,3 not just cease to do further damage.
Jeffrey Kenworthy

15. Policy Implications of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program

Redefining the Transportation Solution
A growing number of communities around the United States are seeking to increase the rates of active transportation (walking and cycling) in order to help address oil dependence and provide the co-benefits of improved livability, decreased pollution, and enhanced public-health outcomes. While rates of walking and cycling appear to be increasing across the country,1 precise, causal data on the relationship between environmental interventions designed to spur active transportation use and walking and cycling rates are still being established.2
Billy Fields, Tony Hull

16. From Potential to Practice

Building a National Policy Framework fc Transportation Oil Reduction
The underlying argument of this book is that we currently have the technical capacity to significantly decrease transportation oil consumption by creating a multimodal transportation system. The broadly ranging set of chapters has laid out the significant negative impacts of the current system, the potential of various modes including passenger and freight systems, the need for better connecting transportation with land-use policy, and the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of moving toward a less auto-and oil-dependent future.
Billy Fields, John L. Renne, Kevin Mills


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