Past Conference

Identifying Research Priorities for the Midterm Review of US Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rate Standards

Dec 17, 2013

About the Event

Identifying Research Priorities for the Midterm Review of
US Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rate Standards
December 17, 2013

About the Event
Transportation scholars at Resources for the Future organized a one-day workshop to identify research priorities in support of the upcoming midterm evaluation of the US fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions rate standards for new light duty vehicles. These standards are the centerpiece of US efforts to reduce oil use and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

In 2012, the two lead agencies, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), finalized standards that require fuel economy to increase from about 35 mpg in the 2016 model year to about 55 mpg in the 2025 model year. But the agencies have committed to conduct a midterm evaluation that is to be completed in 2017 with a final decision by the agencies by April 1, 2018.

The purpose of the workshop was to identify data needs and specific socioeconomic research projects that can inform the public debate over the standards and the agencies’ review of them. The workshop included a wide range of transportation experts, including individuals from academia, nonprofits, and industry, as well as from the key agencies and other government staff with responsibilities affecting the review.

Workshop Summary

Read about the workshop discussions and conclusions in Preparing for the Midterm Review of the Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rate Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles: A Summary of Priority Research Questions.



8:30 – 9:00 a.m.​ Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 9:10 a.m.​ Welcome and Introduction
Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future
9:10 – 9:20 a.m.​ Overview for the Economic Issues from EPA and NHTSA
Gloria Helfand, US Environmental Protection Agency (Download Presentation)
Don Pickrell, US Department of Transportation (Download Presentation)

9:20 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.​ Consumer Responses to Fuel Economy/GHG Standards
James Sallee (University of Chicago) (Download Presentation)
Kenneth Gillingham (Yale University) (Download Presentation)
Christopher Knittel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) (Download Presentation)
  • Consumer value of fuel economy and the demand for alternative fuel vehicles
  • Consumer value of other vehicle characteristics
  • Learning and spillover effects from consumer adoption of new technologies
  • Magnitude of the rebound effect
  • Own and cross-price elasticities of demand
10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.​ Coffee Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.​ Manufacturer Responses to Fuel Economy/GHG Standards
Kate Whitefoot (National Academy of Engineering) (Download Presentation)
John German (International Council of Clean Transportation) (Download Presentation)
David Greene (University of Tennessee) (Download Presentation)

Comments: Gopal Duleep (H-D Systems, Inc.)
  • Models of manufacturer choices of technology, costs and vehicle  characteristics by vehicle size
  • Estimation of key cost function parameters, including learning by doing and scale economies
  • Fuel economy/GHG regulations and innovation
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.​ Lunch
​1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Integrated Cost–Benefit Analysis
Mark Jacobsen (University of California, San Diego) (Download Presentation)
Hunt Allcott (New York University) (Download Presentation)
Joshua Linn (Resources for the Future) (Download Presentation)
  • Modeling structure and estimation of a baseline
  • Key uncertainties, and inclusion in cost–benefit analysis
  • Challenges to counting benefits, particularly fuel economy savings
  • Regulatory design issues (e.g., attribute vs. flat standards)
  • Credits (e.g., for alternative fuel vehicles, trading)​
3:30 - 4:15 p.m.​ Research Summary, Priorities, and Data Needs
Joshua Linn and Virginia McConnell (Resources for the Future)
​4:15 p.m.​ - 5:30 p.m. Reception


  • Joseph E. Aldy, University Fellow, Resources for the Future; Associate Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Joshua Linn, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Virginia McConnell, Senior Fellow