Easing Off the Gas: Efficient and Equitable Policy for Passenger Vehicle Emissions Reduction

23 Pages Posted: 1 May 2020 Last revised: 3 Nov 2020

See all articles by Dan Ziebarth

Dan Ziebarth

George Washington University

Date Written: October 26, 2020


With GHG emissions and atmospheric concentrations of harmful chemical particles continuing to increase, it is imperative today that destructive social and economic tendencies of allowing these levels of pollution to occur must be halted and reversed. A significant contributor to this air pollution globally, and particularly in the United States, are passenger vehicles. Reducing the emissions levels of passenger vehicles in the United States and the resulting pollution costs immediately must be addressed. Various possible policy alternatives to be implemented federally exist, with raising passenger vehicle emissions standards, increasing subsidies for alternative fuel vehicles, and implementing congestion charging zones representing three prominent alternatives. It is suggested in the paper after consideration of effectiveness, efficiency, social equity, financial cost, and organizational and political feasibility that a combination of increased passenger vehicle emissions standards and subsidies for alternative fuel vehicles be implemented. Putting these policy programs in place is shown not only to be feasible, but to be effective and efficient at addressing the goal of reducing passenger vehicle emissions in the United States in a socially equitable manner. By achieving this, we can provide a safer, cleaner country for all residents across the United States of America regardless of geographic location and economic class.

Keywords: Public Policy, Environmental Policy, Environmental Law, Emissions

Suggested Citation

Ziebarth, Dan, Easing Off the Gas: Efficient and Equitable Policy for Passenger Vehicle Emissions Reduction (October 26, 2020). Ecology Law Currents, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3570168 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3570168

Dan Ziebarth (Contact Author)

George Washington University ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

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