By Camille von Kaenel

Ingrid Fol chose her minivan, a 2007 Honda Odyssey, because it gets good mileage. Now that gas prices have gone down, the Northern Virginia resident said, there’s less pressure to make every gallon count.

“When it was $3-something, I would try to stay within a budget, and choose to walk or bike or combine shopping trips,” Fol said as she loaded groceries in her car in Pentagon City in Arlington, Va., with her kids after work. “Now I have more choice, and I’d do it for the exercise instead.”

Fuel economy is the Obama administration’s main strategy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. But emissions keep rising. In the first two months of 2016, greenhouse gases from transportation topped those from the power sector for the first time, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards have only achieved around two-thirds of the expected fleetwide fuel and emissions savings since 2010. That piles on the pressure for federal transportation agencies, which are currently in the midst of reviewing the standards’ effectiveness.

To kick off the process, they are reassessing their assumptions about technology and markets from when the rules were finalized in 2010 and 2012. The analysis is expected this week. The impact of low oil prices on the promised fuel savings, and potential new expectations for the future, will likely be a key part of the report.

“When it comes to climate, fuel economy standards are the only game in town to address impacts from transportation,” said Sam Ori, the director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. “If we’re falling short of our goals, it really behooves everyone to take a look…”

Continue reading at ClimateWire…

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Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
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Energy Markets
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
Fossil Fuels
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Fossil Fuels
Under current policies, fossil fuels will play an important role in the energy system for the foreseeable future. EPIC research is exploring the costs and benefits of these fuels as...
Transportation
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Transportation
Mobility is central to economic activity. Yet, a lack of fuel diversity and continued demand growth have made the transportation industry a major contributor to global pollution and carbon emissions....
Fuel Economy Standards
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Fuel Economy Standards
Fuel economy standards are the United States’ cornerstone transportation policy aimed at reducing both oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. EPIC research is exploring whether these standards are structured optimally...