State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Learn What States are Doing
Texas Clean Fleet Program
Beginning in 2010, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will administer the Texas Clean Fleet Program (Program), which encourages owners of fleets containing diesel vehicles to permanently remove the vehicles from the road and replace them with alternative fuel or hybrid electric vehicles. Grants will be available to fleets to offset the incremental cost of such replacement projects.
The transportation sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in the United States. An estimated 30 percent of national GHGs are directly attributable to transportation—and in some regions the proportion is even higher. Transportation is also the fastest–growing source of GHGs in the U.S., accounting for 47 percent of the net increase in total U.S. emissions since 1990.
Transportation sources of greenhouse gas emissions include cars and light trucks, heavy trucks and buses, non–road recreational vehicles (such as dirt bikes and snowmobiles), farm and construction machines, lawn and garden equipment, marine engines, aircraft, and locomotives.
State Policy Options
There are myriad ways to reduce GHGs from the transportation sector, but the three major categories of opportunities are through changes in:
- Travel Activity (e.g., vehicle miles traveled, or VMT)
Transition to Lower GHG Fuels
States can promote replacing gasoline and diesel with fuels such as biodiesel and natural gas, which can emit less GHGs. Options for promoting such action include:
Increased Use of Improved Vehicle Technologies
States can promote the development and use of more fuel efficient vehicles, such as hybrid vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), via policy decisions, tax credit programs, or "feebates" that can encourage the purchase of more fuel efficient vehicles.
Programs also can target state fleets (e.g., set lead by example goals for efficient vehicle purchasing), commercial fleets (e.g., through the SmartWay Partnership), or residents (promote efficient vehicle purchases that score well in the Green Vehicle Guide).
Reduced Growth of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
States can work with local governments to implement smart growth strategies that concentrate housing, employment, goods and services, and access to public transportation to lessen the need to drive. Providing transit options, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and promoting travel demand management programs and telecommuting can also reduce the number of vehicle trips. Pricing mechanisms such as road pricing, mileage-based car insurance, and gas taxes can also motivate people to drive less.
Federal Transportation Partnership Programs
Clean School Bus USA is a national partnership to minimize pollution from school buses. Leaders from corporate America, children's health, environmental and governmental organizations gather to design a plan to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust by eliminating unnecessary school bus idling, installing effective emission control systems on newer buses, and replacing the oldest buses in the fleet with newer ones. By reducing fuel use, some of these measures also have the added co–benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air is a unique public education and partnership-building initiative developed collaboratively by several federal agencies to help regional, state, and community efforts to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. It All Adds Up seeks to inform the public about the connection between their transportation choices, traffic congestion and air pollution, and emphasizes simple, convenient actions people can take to improve air quality and reduce congestion. This initiative helps state and local governments meet their mobility and clean air goals under two federal laws—the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century and the Clean Air Act Amendments. Many of the measures included in the program have the ancillary benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
NCDC builds on the successes of EPA's regulatory and non-regulatory efforts to reduce emissions from diesel engines. The campaign works aggressively to reduce the pollution emitted from diesel engines through the implementation of varied innovative control strategies involving international, national, state, and local partners. Some of the efforts undertaken by partners—such as engine shutdowns and use of biodiesel—also result in greenhouse gas emission reductions.
SmartWay is a collaborative program between EPA and the freight industry that will increase the energy efficiency and energy security of our country while significantly reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases. The Partnership creates strong market–based incentives that challenge companies shipping products and the truck and rail companies delivering these products, to improve the environmental performance of their freight operations. SmartWay Transport partners improve their energy efficiency, save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.
DOE Clean Cities program
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Clean Cities program strives to advance the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local decisions to adopt practices that contribute to the reduction of petroleum consumption. Clean Cities has a network of approximately 90 volunteer coalitions, which develop public/private partnerships to promote alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, fuel blends, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction.
EPA State and Local Transportation Resources
EPA provides topic–specific guidance documents that outline policies and methodologies for crediting programs (e.g., commuter programs, heavy duty retrofit, and fuels) that can help reduce transportation-related air pollution and emissions including:
- Accelerated Retirement
- Commuter Programs
- Intelligent Transportation
- Land Use
- Transportation Control
- Transportation Pricing
Guidance on Air Pollution Control Strategies
EPA guidance documents outline basic processes in place for securing air quality credit for voluntary and innovative emission reduction programs in the context of state implementation plans, emission trading programs, and economic incentive programs. Most air pollution control strategies also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
NREL Transportation Dashboard
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Transportation Dashboard includes transportation incentives and laws, a fuel economy guide, and information on alternative fuels.
Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse (TCCC)
The U.S. DOT's Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse provides information on climate change and transportation issues. It also offers resources and best practices information for state and local governments on integrating climate considerations into transportation decision making.
Transportation and Energy Data
The U.S. Department of Transportation has a publicly–accessible clearinghouse of transportation and energy data.
Resources for Calculating Vehicle GHG Emissions
Calculators and Modeling Tools
EPA provides several easy–to–use calculators and more sophisticated modeling tools to assess the effectiveness of mobile source–based control strategies. State and local agencies can use these calculators and tools to estimate emission reductions or to conduct an analysis of the outcome that a specific emission–reduction strategy may produce.
Diesel Emissions Quantifier
The Quantifier is an interactive tool that EPA has developed to help state/local governments, fleet owners/operators, school districts, municipalities, contractors, port authorities, and others to estimate emission reductions and cost effectiveness for clean diesel projects. Estimates are made using specific information about a fleet.
MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES)
EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) is developing the MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES). This new emission modeling system will estimate emissions for on–road and nonroad mobile sources, cover a broad range of pollutants (including greenhouse gases) and allow multiple scale analysis–from fine–scale analysis to national inventory estimation.
NREL TransAtlas Tool
- Existing and planned alternative fueling stations
- Alternative fuel production facilities
- Light–duty vehicle density
- Roads and political boundaries
Transportation Analytical Tools
EPA tools and models are available to estimate emissions from on–road and nonroad mobile sources and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be reduced through specific activities.
Transportation Emissions Guidebook
The Transportation Emissions Guidebook, developed by the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP), aims to demonstrate to state and local officials the impact that policy decisions have on air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy use. It provides basic means of calculating these emission reductions from specific transportation and land use policies.