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Cheaper Fuels for the Light-Duty Fleet

RFF First Wednesday Seminar
November 13, 2013

About the Event

The shale gas revolution in the United States has dropped the price of natural gas significantly. Combined with new fuel and vehicle technologies, an opportunity exists to expand the use of natural gas throughout the economy, including in the light-duty fleet of cars and trucks. This expansion could involve the direct combustion of the gas in the form of compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas or, alternatively, the use of natural gas-based liquid fuels such as ethanol or methanol.

In a new paper, “Cheaper Fuels for the Light-Duty Fleet: Opportunities and Barriers,” RFF researchers Richard Morgenstern, Arthur Fraas, and Winston Harrington examine the potential economic, environmental, and national security gains from replacing a portion of the gasoline used in the domestic light-duty fleet with these various natural gas-based fuels. They also look at the regulatory barriers to the expanded use of the fuels.

Event Audio and Video

Event Audio (mp3)


Richard Morgenstern, RFF

Morgenstern will share key findings, including how using natural gas–derived fuels could yield fuel cost savings relative to conventional gasoline—along with gains to national security and, possibly, some environmental benefits.

Daniel R. Cohn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • Loula Merkel, Coskata, Inc.

  • Bob Greco, American Petroleum Institute

  • Michael McAdams, Advanced Biofuels Association

  • Jeffrey Holmstead, Bracewell & Giuliani

Panelists will provide comments on the costs and benefits of these fuels, as well as regulatory and political challenges to their broader adoption.

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