ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

Carbon Emission Reduction Opportunities in California Transportation

Zack Subin, Ph.D. Candidate, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley

February 13, 2008
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA



AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) requires California to make large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the near future. As such, policymakers are faced with important questions about how best to make these reductions. Stationary sources have traditionally been easiest to regulate, but that does not mean that they necessarily provide the greatest potential for reductions at the lowest economic cost. Our research suggests that there are a number of relatively low cost ways to reduce carbon in the transportation sector that could be used to supplement both the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and AB 1493 (the Pavely standards), amounting to an additional 60-100 MMT of CO₂ annually.

Over the last several years, increasing gasoline prices and promising technological developments have improved the economics of options to reduce emissions in transportation. Among the technologies that could play a key role are hybrid and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles, heavy truck fuel efficiency technologies, and alternative hydrocarbon fuels. Based on analysis done at Energy & Environmental Economics, a series of supply curves will be presented that suggest a large potential for emissions reductions in California transportation, even after accounting for existing policies. Although predicting the future economics of transportation technologies always requires recognizing significant uncertainty, our analysis suggests that additional transportation sector policies could be very beneficial for both California's economy and its environmental goals.

Speaker Biography

Zack Subin, Ph.D. Candidate, is studing with the Energy & Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Subin's studies at Berkeley have focused on energy and climate change. Besides working on the economics of California climate policies, Mr. Subin has also researched the economics of wind energy and the comparative greenhouse gas emissions associated with alternative options for dealing with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Dr. Robert F. Sawyer, former Air Resources Board Chairman, is working with him on his transportation research.

Mr. Subin currently holds an MPP from Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and a BA in physics from Harvard. Mr. Subin has worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Redefining Progress in Oakland, and Energy and Environmental Economics in San Francisco.

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