| Chapter 7: ENERGY AND TRANSPORTATION |
Today every other advanced nation is more energy efficient than we are. We can do better and we will. Our long-term strategy invests more in pollution prevention, energy efficiency, solar energy, renewable energy, environmental restoration and water treatment.
President Bill Clinton
In the last decade of the 20th century, environmental quality is linked to the by-products of energy production and transportation. The burning of fossil fuels in power plants, industry, and motor vehicles accounts for most of the air pollution in the United States. Coal-burning power plants are major generators of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide-pollutants that contribute to acid rain and perhaps to global warming. Coal mining and the transport and handling of petroleum products release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Current laws have significantly helped abate these sources of pollution, but more is being done to improve air quality. In 1993 the Clinton administration supported ongoing efforts and proposed new initiatives.
Energy policies that are sensitive to environmental concerns can reduce the impacts of energy production and consumption on air, land, and water resources. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 provides federal support for programs that improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy in the building, industrial, transportation, and utility sectors. Programs emanating from the National Energy Policy Act have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases significantly, improve air quality, and minimize wastes. In 1993 the Clinton administration ensured increased federal funding for energy programs that sustain and improve the environment, while stimulating jobs and the economy. The administration is highlighting natural gas, alternative fuel vehicles, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.
Conditions and Trends
Over the last two decades, the United States has reduced energy-related air pollutant emissions, primarily with controls mandated by the Clean Air Act and its 1990 Amendments. These reductions are having a direct and beneficial effect on problems of acid rain, poor urban air quality, and global warming (see Chapter 1. Air Quality and Climate). Other environmental legislation, such as the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, also impact the way energy is produced and used. Under these laws the nation is making significant progress in resolving the land and water conflicts created by energy production and use.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
In 1990 U.S. carbon dioxide emissions totaled 1.3 billion metric tons (carbon equivalent), a 13-percent increase over 1970 and a reflection of the increase in population and energy use in that period. Despite a 22-percent increase in population during the same period, per capita emissions of carbon dioxide decreased by 7 percent (see Chapter 1. Air Quality and Climate).
Civilian Nuclear Waste
The Department of Energy is developing a waste-management system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from both civilian and government facilities. The system will consist of a geologic repository, a monitored retrievable storage (MRS) facility, and a transportation system to support storage and disposal. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will license civilian facilities. A conceptual design has been completed for the MRS, which will handle and store fuel until it is permanently disposed of in a repository. Scientific feasibility investigations continue at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which Congress has selected as a candidate site for the geologic repository. The construction of an underground Exploratory Studies Facility is underway at Yucca Mountain to enable scientists to examine the geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical characteristics of the potential host rock.
Energy Resources and Reserves
U.S. domestic energy resources are extensive and diverse. Coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium occur in significant quantities within the nation's borders. Unconventional sources, such as coal-bed methane and oil shale, are potential energy sources for the future. Renewable energy sources, such as geothermal, solar, and wind, are available and the cost-effectiveness of the technologies used to harness them is rapidly improving.
Oil and Natural Gas
The combined oil-equivalent proved reserves of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas plant liquids in the United States increased each year from 1949 to 1968, when, for the first time, production exceeded net additions to proved reserves. Except for Alaska's North Slope reserves in 1970, the trend for proved reserves has been downward, falling to 58 billion barrels oil equivalent in 1992. Through 1992 (the most recent year for which data are available), crude oil cumulative production of 167 billion barrels from 39,335 fields equaled 87 percent of estimated ultimate recovery. For the past seven years, total new discoveries have been relatively low, reflecting a similar trend in exploratory drilling that followed the crude oil price collapse of 1986. Three areas, Texas, Alaska, and the Federal Offshore, accounted for 74 percent or 350 million barrels of total new discoveries for 1992.
Natural gas cumulative production of 838 trillion cubic feet from 34,909 fields equaled 83 percent of ultimate recovery. Areas with the largest proportion of the 7,048 billion cubic feet of total new discoveries for 1992 were Texas, the Gulf of Mexico Federal Offshore, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming. At the beginning of 1993 estimated proved reserves of crude oil were 23.8 billion barrels, which is sufficient to meet U.S. demand at current levels for ten years. Estimated proved reserves of natural gas were 165 trillion cubic feet, also sufficient to meet U.S. demand at current levels for ten years.
The estimate of the demonstrated reserve base of coal in the United States was 474 billion short tons. Although recoverability rates differ from site to site, an estimated 56 percent of the demonstrated reserve base is recoverable. Coal reserve estimates by sulfur content indicate that, on a nationwide basis, both demonstrated and recoverable coal reserves are equally distributed among low-sulfur, medium-sulfur, and high-sulfur categories. About 83 percent of the nation's low-sulfur reserves are located in the West, while the interior region of the United States (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas) contains 66 percent of the high-sulfur reserves, Appalachia 26 percent, and the West 8 percent.
Uranium reserves with forward costs (those yet to be incurred in production) of up to $30 per pound totaled 295 million pounds of uranium oxide, of which 40 percent is in Wyoming and 20 percent in Texas. Smaller reserves are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. Potential resources and speculative resources in the $30-per-pound category totaled 2.2 billion and 1.3 billion pounds, respectively.
Recoverable Oil and Gas
Under general conditions of historical prices and existing technology, estimated remaining recoverable oil and gas resources are 140 billion barrels of crude oil and 1,188 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Alaska, including its federal offshore region, accounts for one-third of all U.S. crude oil resources. The Gulf Coast and the federal offshore region of the Gulf of Mexico accounts for half of U.S. natural gas resources, with Alaska's onshore and offshore regions accounting for one-fifth.
Historically fossil fuels have accounted for the bulk of domestic energy production, which in 1993 totaled 66 quadrillion Btu. Coal accounted for the largest share of domestic energy production before 1951 and, after a long hiatus, again in 1982 and in 1984 through 1993. In the interim crude oil and then natural gas dominated domestic energy production.
Production of crude oil and refined products accounts for a fourth of U.S. annual energy production.
Domestic. During much of the 1950s and 1960s, domestic petroleum production capacity exceeded demand to such an extent that the federal government implemented production pro-rationing and import ceilings to protect domestic production. By the 1970s with petroleum demand increasing, the average productivity of wells began to decline, and oil production leveled off. Increases in Alaskan production at the end of the 1970s and through 1988 partially counteracted declines in the lower-48 production. In 1989 and 1990, however, Alaskan production declined, and 1993 production was the lowest in 35 years.
Imported. Over 40 percent of the crude oil used in the United States is imported-much of it from politically volatile regions of the world such as the Persian Gulf, which holds two-thirds of known global oil reserves. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) expects demand for petroleum to increase, even if petroleum prices rise. Because of the steady decline in domestic production, much of this increase will be met by greater use of imports in the future.
Natural gas accounts for one-fourth of U.S. annual energy production. In 1993 gross withdrawals of natural gas, at 22.93 trillion cubic feet, increased for the seventh consecutive year and exceeded the previous production record of 22.85 trillion cubic feet in 1974. Consumption of natural gas is expected to increase considerably over the next 20 years, with the bulk of gas demand met by domestic supplies. Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, the largest producers of natural gas, accounted for 62 percent of total U.S. production in 1993. Most of the withdrawals came from onshore wells and offshore wells in state waters.
U.S. coal reserves are the largest in the world and supply 32 percent of annual U.S. energy production. Nine-tenths of domestic coal use is for electricity generation at large power stations. Consumption of coal for electricity generation is expected to grow as demand for electricity rises over the next two decades. Except for wartime increases in the 1940s, coal's share of domestic energy resource production declined from the 1920s to the early 1960s, when the trend reversed itself in response to higher prices for other, cleaner fossil fuels. Reflecting a growth in domestic coal consumption and U.S. coal exports, coal production rose by 68 percent from 1970 to its peak in 1990. In 1993 production was down from the 1992 level, partly as result of a 1993 strike by the United Mine Workers of America against member companies of the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association.
Coal Types. Of all coal production, bituminous and subbituminous coal account for 90 percent of the share in 1993. Despite its superior burning qualities, anthracite, mined in northeastern Pennsylvania, accounts for a diminishing share of total coal production, down from 8.9 percent of total coal production in 1949 to 0.4 percent in 1993. Lignite accounts for the remainder of coal produced. In 1993 a number of programs supported the development of more environmentally benign new technologies. Advancements in natural gas and superclean coal technologies can prevent pollution and increase energy efficiency.
Superclean Coal. The Clean Coal Technology (CCT) Program, initiated in 1986, demonstrates advanced, cleaner burning coal technologies through government-industry collaboration. Following five competitive rounds, the program currently has 45 active projects. In 1993 government funding totaled $2.7 billion with industry more than matching that amount with $4.1 billion. Early projects demonstrated major reductions in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. By mid-year 23 projects were generating data on advanced technologies that can reduce emissions from new and existing coal-burning, electricity-generating power plants. Such technologies will help utilities meet control requirements for sulfur and nitrogen oxides under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Current projects focus on advanced power generation technologies that are not only superclean in terms of pollution reduction but also significantly more efficient than today's systems. Higher efficiencies mean lower emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants.
Mine Locations. More coal is mined east of the Mississippi River than in the West, but the West's share of total production has increased almost every year after 1965. By 1993 western mines had increased by a factor of 15 to 420 million short tons or 44 percent of the total coal production. The growth in western coal resulted partly from concerns about sulfur dioxide emissions and increased demands for low-sulfur coal, which is concentrated in the West. Surface mining, with its higher average productivity, also is more prevalent in the West.
Nuclear Material Uses
From 1949 through 1967, the Atomic Energy Commission was the major purchaser of uranium, which it used largely for military purposes. Domestic production grew from 0.4 million pounds of uranium oxide in 1949 to 35 million pounds in 1960. As military stockpiles grew, purchases and domestic production declined. From 1966 through 1976, production fluctuated between 21 million and 27 million pounds, until subsequent orders for new nuclear power plants led to renewed growth.
Uranium Production Peak. Production of uranium peaked in 1980 at 44 million pounds only to fall again in response to cancellations and postponements of nuclear power plants. The reasons for the decline in uranium production were a decline in demand, buildups in inventories at electric utilities, and foreign competition. By 1993 production had fallen to 3.1 million pounds. Nonetheless the contribution of nuclear electric power to electricity net generation increased almost every year from the late 1950s through 1992, only to decline in 1993.
Nuclear Power plants. The number of nuclear power units in all stages of planning, construction, and operation in 1993 was 116, one fewer than in 1992. The 1993 total is well below the total of 226 in 1974. Many planned units have been cancelled, and since 1977 no orders for new units have been announced, primarily because of environmental, safety, and economic concerns. The future of nuclear power is linked to resolution of these issues.
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation
Compared to underground coal mining, surface mining generally costs less, is safer for miners, and results in more complete recovery of coal. It also results in more extensive disturbances of the land surface, which can cause serious environmental problems unless the mined land is carefully reclaimed.
During the early years of coal mining, reclamation of mine sites and facilities was not required by law. In the 1930s, as surface mining became more widespread, the idea of mandatory environmental protection and reclamation gained ground. By 1945 several states had enacted laws to regulate the coal mining industry, but the war demand for coal took priority over environmental concerns with little consideration given to mined land reclamation. Mining pits were not refilled; dangerous highwalls were left exposed; trees and other vegetation were dumped down slopes below mines; and topsoil was buried or allowed to wash away, clogging streams with sediment. Slopes stripped of their vegetation eroded rapidly, and landslides were common. Contaminated water collected in mine pits and acid drainage frequently polluted rivers and streams.
After 1945 more coal-producing states instituted regulatory programs, but these varied in scope giving operators in states with less stringent rules an economic advantage, generally at the expense of environmental quality. In the 1970s the increased demand for coal for electricity generation, the continued lack of uniformity among state surface mining programs, and the increase in unreclaimed land and associated pollution of water and other resources led to a demand for nationwide regulation of surface coal mining. The result was the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977.
Current mining activities are conducted under stringent rules for protecting and restoring the environment. The abandoned mine land provisions of SMCRA have mitigated many of the past problems associated with surface and underground mines. For example, from 1977 through 1992, more than 200 miles of dangerous surface mine highwalls were eliminated and 800 potentially dangerous landslides were reclaimed. Mine drainage and pollution problems, caused by both surface and underground mines, have been mitigated at one-third of 1,500 abandoned U.S. mine sites with known water quality problems. Over 14,000 openings to abandoned underground mines have been filled or closed, and 2,000 land subsidence problems have been corrected. Fire, which plagues many abandoned underground mines and above-ground coal outcrops and coal refuse piles, has been eliminated on half the sites discovered. Progress to date of environmental cleanup of coal mining sites has been considerable, but continued work is required as previously unidentified problems are discovered.
After World War II, the United States relied heavily on petroleum, natural gas, and coal. In addition to having high energy contents, these fuels were inexpensive, readily available, and easy to transport. During the 1970s, however, price increases for petroleum and natural gas, concerns about the stability of supplies, and environmental factors stimulated interest in alternative sources of energy.
Sources. In 1993 renewable energy sources, including hydropower, solar, bio-mass, municipal solid wastes, wind, and geothermal, provided nearly 10 percent of U.S. annual energy production, with hydro-power as the leading source.
Uses. Although half of U.S. renewable energy goes to generate electricity, the nation also uses biofuels for transportation and solar energy to heat buildings and water. The cost of renewable energy has continued to decline. With continued support of renewable energy programs over the next 20 years, increased use of biofuels will meet more of U.S. energy demand.
The net generation of electricity increased during the 1950-1993 period, registering year-to-year declines only twice-during the 1982 recession and again in 1992. The growth rate of electricity net generation slowed, however, over the 44-year period. From 1950 through 1979, the annual rate of growth averaged 7 percent, whereas from 1980 through 1993, it averaged only 2 percent. After the mid-1970s, coal and nuclear fuels provided increasing shares of input for electricity generation, displacing petroleum and natural gas. In 1993 electricity net generation totaled 2.9 trillion kilowatt hours, up 3 percent from the 1992 level.
Sources. Coal continued in 1993 to fuel most of the generation, accounting for 55 percent of the total. The natural gas share accounted for 8.9 percent of electricity net generation, a slight decrease from 1992, whereas petroleum-fired production, while accounting for only 3.5 percent of production, increased due to lower petroleum prices. Nuclear-based generation, accounting for 21 percent of generation, declined for the first time in 13 years, down 1.5 percent from 1992. Conventional hydroelectric power, accounting for 9.3 percent of the total was up 10 percent from generation in 1992, as the persistent drought in the West subsided. Hydroelectric pump storage, however, was down 4 percent because the energy used for pumping exceeded the generation. Geothermal and other renewable energy sources accounted for 10 billion kilowatt hours (9.6 percent of the 1993 electricity net generation), up 9 percent from 1992.
Changing Structure of the Electric Power Industry
Electricity is produced by electric utilities and nonutilities-industrial manufacturers that produce electricity for their own use and non-utility generators that recently have begun providing electricity and other services for sale to others. The electric utilities share of electric power generation increased steadily from 1970 to 1979, when it reached 97 percent. Their control of the industry depended largely on their position as owners and operators of the wholesale and retail electric power transmission and distribution system.
New technologies are contributing to competition in the industry, more recently by lowering capital costs of new generation, increasing thermal efficiency, and reducing the time needed to construct the facilities. These are also increasing efficiencies for transmission systems.
By 1992 the electric utilities share of generation declined to 91 percent. Reasons for the change include: reasons:
Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). This act encourages nonutilities to enlarge their small portion of electricity generation by guaranteeing a market for the electricity they produce from qualified facilities and by exempting them from previous legislative restrictions.
State Regulations. More stringent regulatory review of utility costs by state regulators in the 1980s, in some cases, made utilities reluctant to build new electricity generating capacity. When projected capacity needs did not materialize due to conservation and low growth, state regulatory agencies did not allow some utilities to recover capital costs. This made utilities reluctant to initiate new capital-intensive generation projects. Non-utilities and their investors were willing to accept the risks.
Increased Costs. Rapidly increasing costs to utilities of generating electricity resulted from increased fuel prices and increased construction and operating costs of generating plants due in part to more stringent environmental requirements and safety regulations.
Energy Sources. Electric utilities produce the majority of their electricity by burning coal, and their second major source of energy is nuclear power. In contrast nonutilities produce half of their electricity from natural gas-fired boilers and a third from renewable fuels, including wood and waste. In part this difference is due to the cogeneration opportunities for non-utilities and the requirement of PURPA that utilities buy power from non-utilities and co-generators.
The process of change in the structure of the electric power industry has not yet run its course; the outcome will depend on the resolution of several issues. For nonutilities the issues are continued viability-meeting commitments to provide electricity and satisfying financial obligations-and reliability-extending their participation into the wholesale power transmission grid without degrading its reliability. Utilities must adapt to the new, more competitive circumstances of the electric power industry, to recover the costs of their current generation resources. The issue facing regulators and lawmakers is to ensure that electricity is produced to meet the demands of all sectors in an economically efficient, environmentally sound manner.
Uses. Electricity use in the U.S. economy continues to increase. By 2010 an estimated 41 percent of the primary energy consumed in the United States will be used to generate electricity, up from 36 percent in 1992.
The U.S. economy more than doubled during the 1950-1973 period. Likewise, energy consumption doubled during the same period, increasing from 33 quadrillion Btu in 1950 to 74 quadrillion Btu in 1973. The domestic energy market was dominated by rapid growth in petroleum and natural gas consumption, which more than tripled during the period. After the 1973 oil price shock, energy consumption fluctuated, influenced by changes in oil prices, changes in the rate and growth of the domestic economy, and concerns about the effects of energy use on the environment. The post-1973 low point of energy consumption, 71 quadrillion Btu, occurred in 1983 during a period of high oil prices. The highest level of energy consumption, 84 quadrillion Btu, occurred in 1993, when oil prices were low.
Indicators: Energy Intensity of the Economy
The energy intensity of the U.S. economy can be measured with the use of the following indicators:
Consumption per GDP. The relationship between total energy consumption and real gross domestic product (GDP) is a traditional indicator of the energy intensity of the economy. In 1970 a total of 23 thousand Btu of energy was consumed for each 1987 dollar of GDP. Higher energy prices in the early 1970s led to increases in energy efficiency and a significant restructuring of the energy-intensive activities of the manufacturing sector. The energy intensity of the economy as a whole fell in 1986 to 17 thousand Btu per 1987 dollar, where it remained through 1991. In 1992 and 1993, the energy intensity of the economy was 16 thousand Btu per 1987 dollar.
Consumption per Capita. A second indicator of energy intensity is per capita consumption. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, the growth of end-use energy consumption exceeded the growth of the population. Per capita consumption rose from 212 million Btu in 1960 to a peak of 285 million Btu in 1973. Thereafter per capita consumption trends were downward to as low as 225 million Btu in 1983. In the 1990s low petroleum prices encouraged energy use, and end-use energy consumption rose to 245 million per capita in 1993.
Americans depend on energy to produce goods and services in the following end-use sectors:
Residential and Commercial. This sector accounts for 26 percent of U.S. end-use energy consumption. Of total residential and commercial use, 38 per-cent is currently in the form of electricity. Much of the growth in energy consumption during the 1950-1993 period occurred in the residential and commercial sector. It leveled off in the late 1970s and early 1980s in response to higher energy prices but rebounded to record high levels between 1986 and 1993 when energy prices were lower.
Industry. The industrial sector accounts for 38 percent of end-use energy consumption, relying on a mix of fuels. Of the energy it consumes, industry uses 70 percent to provide heat and power for manufacturing. This sector uses 25 percent of the nation's petroleum, half of that as feedstocks. Energy consumption by the industrial sector increased throughout the 1960s and in 1973 reached 32 quadrillion Btu. Of the three end-use sectors, industry has been the most responsive to the turmoil in energy markets after the 1973-1974 embargo. In 1979 industry consumption peaked at 33 quadrillion Btu. In the early 1980s, it declined, reaching a 16-year low of 26 quadrillion in 1983, as a slow economy restrained industrial consumption. Economic growth in the late 1980s spurred industrial demand for energy. Despite slow economic growth in the 1990s, industrial energy consumption has continued to increase. Industrial energy demand is expected to continue to grow over the next two decades. At the same time, energy use per dollar of economic output is expected to decline as a result of energy efficiency improvements.
Transportation. The United States devotes 36 percent of its end-use energy consumption to the transport of people and goods. Virtually all of this energy consists of petroleum products used to power automobiles, trucks, ships, airplanes, and trains. The transportation sector accounts for two-thirds of U.S. petroleum use. Over the past 44 years, the transportation sector's consumption of petroleum more than tripled, but growth was slower in the 1980s and early 1990s than in previous decades. While the use of alternative-fueled vehicles will rise in the future, petroleum fuels likely will continue to dominate transportation energy use for the next 20 years (see Transportation section in this chapter).
Over the past two decades, the nation has learned to use energy more efficiently in every sector. Between 1985 and 1991, DOE surveys showed that many manufacturing groups became more energy efficient. The following factors increase or facilitate improvements in energy efficiency:
. Improved Energy Management. Better equipment maintenance, improved insulation, lowering thermostats, routine energy audits, and conservation goals improve energy management;
. Computers. Computer controls and instrumentation allow companies to track energy use and keep processes running at optimal efficiency;
. Heat Recovery and Exchange. Lower stack temperatures, installation of waste-heat recovery boilers, and condensate recovery contribute to heat recovery and heat exchange;
. Cogeneration. Improvements in electricity cogeneration include switching to gas turbines; and
. Technological Advances. Increases, renovations, and turnover in production capacity commonly incorporate technological advances and improved operational techniques.
In 1992 (the most recent year for which data are available), energy conservation features in commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems were in use in 2.6 million of the 4.8 million commercial buildings in the United States. Conservation features associated with lighting occurred in 1.2 million buildings. Estimates of energy intensity in the commercial sector (available for the years 1979, 1983, 1986, and 1989) show a 20-percent reduction in energy consumption per square foot of floorspace (or gross energy intensity) and a 23-percent reduction in gross energy intensity per hour of operation. The trend toward reduced commercial energy use was most apparent in buildings built after 1945, and of these, the lowest energy consumption per square foot per hour of operation was found among those built in the 1980s.
Energy consumption in residential structures is also more efficient today. In 1990 (the most recent year for which data are available), household energy consumption totaled 9.2 quadrillion Btu, 13 percent less than in 1978. This decline in consumption shows the effect of past energy conservation efforts in space heating, water heating, air conditioning, appliances, and building construction and insulation. In housing units constructed in 1980 or after, the average heating intensities (Btu per square foot and per heating degree-day) of all main-source heating fuels were significantly lower than in homes constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.
The average fuel rate of passenger cars, which make up a sizeable portion of the U.S. motor vehicle fleet, began to improve in 1974. It increased throughout the 1970s and 1980s, reaching an average of 22 miles per gallon in 1991 and 1992 (the most recent year for which data are available). Many believe the Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which require automobile manufacturers to meet fleet fuel rate minimum averages, played a major role in the increase in fuel efficiency rates.
In 1993 the President requested increased funding for energy programs with environmental components. For the first time, the DOE budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs would pass the billion dollar mark, with a proposed 34-percent increase over FY 1993. This included a 75-percent increase for programs in alternative-fuel vehicles. The administration continued support for programs authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to increase efficiency and reduce waste in industry, buildings, and transportation. In 1993 federal programs helped reduce greenhouse gases, improve air quality, and minimize waste.
Funding for research and development (R&D) in the renewable energy supply is increasing. R&D can accelerate application of emerging renewable energy technologies, reduce costs, improve energy and environmental performance, and make these technologies competitive in the marketplace.
The President requested $30.4 million for the wind energy program, including funding to complete the National Wind Technology Center near Rocky Flats, Colorado, which will provide world-class technology and testing facilities for private and government wind energy research. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is relocating its wind technology staff to the new center to support wind industry development in rapidly expanding domestic and international markets. Static and dynamic blade fatigue testing facilities will support the next generation of wind turbines that will be developed in the mid-1990s and into the next decade. Full turbine test capabilities will support 500 kW of large utility-scale wind turbines.
The DOE is supporting research on cost reductions for generating electricity from geothermal energy resources. Instruments that reduce drilling costs have been developed for the harsh conditions of geothermal wells to increase the information available from deep in the earth. Such instrumentation enables drillers to make cost-saving decisions. Analysts have refined and validated geothermal resource computer models to better predict energy recovery and prolong the lifetime of the resource. With commercialization of these technology advances, geothermal energy could become an economically sound renewable energy alternative at more locations around the United States.
The DOE Regional Biomass Energy Program supports efforts to increase the production and use of biomass energy resources. These include waste-to-energy conversions, using wood, municipal and agricultural wastes, and biogas-to-energy conversions of materials in landfills, animal waste lagoons, and wastewater. Initiatives cosponsored by the DOE, EPA, and USDA Soil Conservation Service assist animal producers in minimizing the environmental impacts of their operations on air and water by utilizing biogas from lagoon systems to supplement energy requirements.
Biofuels. The DOE is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to produce alternative fuels from renewable biomass resources. The goal is to produce biofuels that are competitive with petroleum-based fuels by the year 2000.
Alternative Fuels and Vehicles
The President has directed the administration to accelerate the acquisition and use of new vehicles that operate on fuels other than gasoline and the conversion of current vehicles to alternative fuels. Many of the vehicles will join the federal fleet.
Hybrid Vehicles. The DOE initiated the Hybrid Propulsion System Development Program as a 5-year cost-shared cooperative program to develop and demonstrate hybrid-electric propulsion systems for light-duty vehicles. Such vehicles have the potential to satisfy EPA Tier II emission standards, improve fuel economy by 100 percent, and offer performance competitive with conventional vehicles.
Clean Cities Program. The Clean Cities program was initiated by DOE to achieve goals established by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and to provide a supporting network for DOE alternative fuels programs, including the Public Information Program, the State and Local Incentives Program, the Replacement Fuels Program, and the Certification of Training Program. Additionally Clean Cities seeks to advance the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and other federal legislative and regulatory initiatives to promote nationally the public and private sector uses of alternative fuel vehicles. Specifically the program is designed to accelerate and expand the use of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in communities throughout the country and to provide refueling and maintenance facilities for their operation. Through the establishment of locally-based government and industry partnerships combined with federal guidance and leadership in vehicle acquisitions, Clean Cities seeks to build a sustainable, nationwide alternative fuels market. Encouraging the commercialization of AFVs and the development of alternative fuel infrastructure both play an important role in building the foundations for a transportation future that is more diverse, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly. Since September 1993 the DOE Clean Cities program has implemented over 680 partnerships in 26 cities throughout the country. These cities feature over 26,000 AFVs with the potential to displace 600,000 barrels per year of oil and reduce emissions by up to 5,000 metric tons per year.
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles
On September 29, 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore joined with the Chief Executives of the Big Three U.S. Automakers to announce the formation of a new partnership aimed at strengthening U.S. competitiveness by developing technologies for a new generation of vehicles. The government and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), representing Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, have launched development efforts to address the following three specific, interrelated goals:
Goal 1. Significantly improve national competitiveness in manufacturing;
Goal 2. Implement commercially viable innovation from ongoing research on conventional vehicles; and
Goal 3. Develop a vehicle to achieve up to three times fuel efficiency of today's comparable vehicles (i.e., the 1994 Chrysler Concorde, Ford Taurus, and Chevrolet Lumina).
To address Goal 3, research and development is needed in the technology areas leading to vehicle and propulsion system improvements. These technologies may include among others: advanced lightweight materials and structures; energy efficient conversion systems (e.g., advanced internal combustion engines, and fuel cells); energy storage devices (such as advanced batteries, flywheels, and ultracapacitors); more efficient electrical systems; and waste heat recovery. A concept vehicle is expected to be available in approximately six years and a production prototype in approximately ten years.
Advanced Battery Consortium. The DOE established the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) in 1991 to develop future generations of electric vehicles with increased range and performance. The consortium has signed contracts with teams of battery developers for nickel/metal hydride, lithium polymer, and lithium/iron disulfide battery systems. The contracts include six Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and five subcontracts. Prototypes are expected to be pilot tested in 1995.
DOE funding for energy efficiency programs increased in 1993 in recognition of the importance of improved energy efficiency in industry, buildings, and transportation.
Industrial Energy Audits. Through an expansion of the DOE Industrial Energy Audit Program, 25 Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Centers (EADCs) are now in operation at U.S. universities. Managed through western and eastern regional field offices, the EADCs perform energy audits of small-and medium-sized manufacturers, identifying cost-effective ways to improve plant energy efficiency. To date 4,900 EADC audits, conducted at a cost of $25 million, have resulted in $485 million in energy savings to industry. Collaborating with utilities to improve audit techniques, the DOE extends the usefulness of audit data to a broader industrial audience. A new DOE-EPA energy and waste audit program will expand the audit process to look at energy efficiency and at ways to reduce or reuse waste at industrial facilities.
NICE3. The National Industrial Competitiveness through Energy, Environment, and Economics (NICE3) program demonstrates new applications for technologies to increase energy efficiency and reduce wastes through pollution prevention. With cost-sharing by the DOE, EPA, states, and industries, NICE3 has completed notable projects such as recovery and reuse of methanol in hydrogen peroxide production, recovery and reuse of paint manufacturing wastewater, and ultrasonic cleaning of dishes and tanks. Each project reduced wastes by at least 90 percent and improved energy efficiency. In 1993 Motorola Corporation and Sandia and Los Alamos Laboratories worked on a joint, cost-shared project to modify a specific soldering machine for the production of printed circuit boards that totally eliminated the use of CFCs and the requirement for post-soldering cleaning.
Advanced Turbine Systems. The DOE, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Gas Research Institute (GRI) are conducting a research program with major turbine manufacturers. The goal is to develop the next generation of utility and industrial gas turbine systems with a 15-percent improvement in thermal efficiency, low nitrogen oxide emissions, and low-cost electricity. The focus is on developing natural gas turbine-based systems which are more environmentally sound than oil-or coal-based turbines. In 1993 the Low Emission Turbine Consortium began funding the GM Allison Gas Turbine Division to modify combustors operating in NOx nonattainment areas. Headed by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, the consortium includes DOE, Gas Research Institute, Southern California Gas, and Chevron Corporation.
Energy-Efficient Buildings. The DOE supports R&D on a range of energy-efficient building technologies and the development of computer models that target energy conservation. Advanced technologies include the following:
. Electrochromic smart windows that benefit the heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings;
. Innovative materials such as power-evacuated panels;
. Variable-conductance building- appliance insulations;
. Non-CFC refrigerators that use 60 percent less energy than those of 20 years ago;
. Very-high-frequency lamps that will replace fluorescent lamps; and
. Optimum-spectrum lamps that produce increased proportions of visible light.
The following are new developments:
. A CFC/HCFC ratiometer to identify the many different types of refrigerant mixtures that will be used during the transition away from CFCs;
. A flame-quality indicator that detects when oil-heat system efficiencies begin to degrade; and
. A deposition process that revolutionizes the application of Electrochromic films to glass and plastic windows and substantially reduces film costs.
To encourage the acceptance of energy-efficient technologies and practices and the use of renewable energy in buildings, the DOE sponsors market-conditioning activities that provide information on the demonstrated performance of these options. Other efforts include developing cost-effective building energy efficiency codes, product-testing procedures, labeling, and appliance and equipment efficiency standards. The DOE promotes energy efficiency by the federal government-the nation's largest energy consumer-through a Federal Energy Management Program. The goal is a 20-percent reduction in energy use per square foot in federal buildings by the year 2000, with government savings of $400 million annually.
Integrated Resource Planning. The DOE increased funding for Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) to improve analytical capabilities and support state and local resource planning programs. Utilities use IRP to determine the mix of demand and supply-side resources to meet customer electricity demand. Through improvements in energy efficiency and other noncapital alternatives, IRP techniques can reduce the need for new power plants.
Transportation is the circulatory system of the U.S. economy. Moving goods and people not only supports the quality of life at home but maintains U.S. competitiveness in world markets. At the same time, transportation is a major user of energy and can generate significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. Unwanted side effects are products of the following factors:
. Combustion of fossil energy in transportation vehicles;
. Land development associated with transportation networks and facilities;
. Noise, vibration, and structural damage caused by transportation vehicles;
. Transportation accidents and human injuries and fatalities; and
. Spills of wastes and hazardous materials.
Underlying these problems is an American society that has become increasingly more mobile in passenger and freight transport, traveling greater distances, and spending a greater proportion of disposable income on transportation.
Conditions and Trends
The transportation system of the United States, among the largest in the world, includes 196.9 million automobiles, vans, and trucks operating on 3.9 million miles of streets and highways; 78,000 transit vehicles operating on those streets, as well as more than 7,000 miles of subways, streetcar lines, and commuter railroads; 207,000 airplanes operating in and out of 18,300 airports and landing fields; 18,000 locomotives and 750,000 railcars operating over 113,000 miles of roadway; 20 million recreational boats, 31,000 barges, and over 8,000 U.S. ships, tugs, and other commercial vessels operating on 26,000 miles of waterways, the Great Lakes, and the ocean; and 1.5 million miles of intercity and distribution pipelines.
Infrastructure of the U.S. Transportation System
Highway Transportation. The size of the U.S. highway system has not changed appreciably for many years, although the proportion of the system with higher service levels continues to increase. Most roads are now paved, and a larger proportion of multiple-lane facilities serve larger volumes of traffic. Nationwide mileage of poor pavement conditions declined throughout the 1980s and continues to do so in the 1990s; however 234,500 miles of roads remain rated poor or mediocre.
. Indicators of Highway Conditions. These include vehicle speed, trips made, miles traveled, and congestion. Speeds, which dipped sharply in 1973 with implementation of a nationwide 55 miles-per-hour limit, have since increased to levels just below those of earlier years. The percent of urban interstate mileage and peak-hour travel experiencing congested conditions continued to rise in 1993, with more than half of this congestion in urban areas with populations exceeding 1 million persons. Over the past 20 years, total traffic on the nation's highways increased 78 percent, while combination truck traffic increased 143 percent.
. Bridges. The number of bridges on public-use roads totaled 573,846 in 1993, a figure which has changed little over the years. Bridge conditions have stabilized with reduced numbers of structurally deficient bridges, down from 134,100 in 1990 to 111,512 in 1993.
Air Transportation. The United States has more airports than the rest of the world combined, with 5,545 public-use airports and 12,301 private airports in 1992. However, approximately 60 percent of all commercial passengers enplane through only 25 airports. Few performance indicators have been developed for the air transportation system. Average delay per takeoff or landing was 7.1 minutes in 1992 and is projected to be 8.4 minutes in 2002. and rising in following years if improvements are not made.
Intercity Rail Transportation. The extent of the rail track network in the United States has been declining for decades, as railroads attempt to meet changing market conditions and improve financial viability. As a result, the density of traffic on the remaining freight rail network has increased significantly. While almost every large community in the nation is connected to the rail freight system, direct rail service to minor markets and some agricultural production areas has been significantly reduced. However, due to deregulation of the rail industry in 1980, the number of shortline railroads continues to grow. Between 1980 and 1989, 226 new railroads were established, comprising 21,028 miles of track. The railroads market share has increased in recent years, from 37.4% of revenue ton-miles in 1990, to 38.1% in 1993. Except in the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston, Amtrak operates over the track of the freight railroads. The extent of trackage used for rail passenger service is less now than in the years prior to the formation of Amtrak in 1970. Amtrak still operates more than 25,000 route miles out of 523 stations crossing 45 states, but carries less than 2% of intercity passengers per year at a substantial per passenger subsidy ($40). In 1993, the railroad industry invested a record $4.2 billion in roadway, equipment, and structures.
Urban Transit. Among the various modes of urban transit service, motor buses lead are the most common transit vehicle, followed by vans, trolley buses, subways or heavy-rail transit, commuter rail, light-rail transit, automated guideway transit, cable cars, and tramways. The number of transit operators has been growing in recent years, but the average age of transit buses exceeds federally recommended average usable age by 20 to 35 percent.
Pipeline Transportation. Two primary categories of pipelines exist in the United States:
. Oil pipelines transport crude petroleum and various petroleum products, and
. Gas pipelines move natural gases and liquified petroleum gases.
The pipeline system is aging, and, although data are incomplete, concerns are rising regarding the effects of corrosion and erosion on pipe over time, which reduce its ability to support stress and higher pressures. Preventive actions such as frequent monitoring, corrosion control programs, and selective rehabilitation or replacement can be taken to offset the effects of aging. Some 19 percent of natural gas pipelines were built before 1950, while most liquid product lines were built after 1950.
National travel has two main components-local and intercity. The comings and goings of household members in their daily activities of work, shopping, school, personal business, visits to friends, and recreational opportunities constitutes local travel, whether in a metropolitan setting (a city and its suburbs) or a nonmetropolitan, rural setting. Metropolitan travel makes up an increasingly large proportion of local travel each year, but over time the temporal pattern and purpose of metropolitan travel have changed. The tendency for work travel to peak abruptly in the morning and evening declined about 10 percent between the late 1960s and the early 1990s because of several factors:
. Decline in the Factory System. The trend away from manufacturing to service employment brought with it a decline in the factory system. It is less common for large numbers of employees at a central site to start and end work at the same time. The increase in smaller employment units is oriented to consumers, resulting in more weekend and evening employment, which tends to remove some workers from the otherwise traditional morning and evening rush hours;
. Extended Rush Hour. Commuters tend to travel before or after the peaks to miss the congested periods; and
. Flextime. Employees are opting for flextime schedules, in which they elect to work 10-hour, 4-day schedules or some alternative.
Work Travel. Several dominant factors have shaped U.S. work travel over the last several decades:
. New Jobs. A massive creation of jobs occurred in the 1970s and 1980s as babyboomers entered the work force;
. Women in the Labor Force. The entry of women into the labor force occurred in large numbers; and
. Suburban-to-Suburban Commute. The shift from a suburb-to-central-city pattern of work commuting to a predominantly suburban-to- suburban one followed the rise of suburban populations (see Chapter 8). With it came a parallel growth in commercial, retail, and overall employment in the suburbs.
Modal Shares. Statistics on modal shares of work commuting for 1980 and 1990 indicate that although the proportion of people traveling by automobile changed little, the number of vehicles increased, with a significant shift from ridesharing to driving alone. In 1990 an additional 22 million workers drove alone to work compared to 1980. Only 15 million workers drove with more than one worker in 1990, compared to 19 million in 1980. Mass transit passenger-miles increased 8 percent during the 1980s, partially reversing a trend that began before World War II, but mass transit's share of the commuting pie declined slightly. An estimated 4 percent of workers walked to work, while 0.4 percent bicycled, with both shares decreasing since 1980. One significant trend reversal was an increase in the number of people working at home since 1980; they now comprise 3 percent of all workers. This increase is predominantly in urban areas, indicating that the long-predicted growth of telecommuting may be finally happening. In contrast, the number of people who work at home remained stable in rural areas, where populations have declined for many years as people left farming. Causes for these shifts in modal shares include:
. Continuing increases in automobile availability;
. Continuing shifts to noncentral-city-oriented commuting;
. Declining real gas costs;
. Free parking provided by employers as a fringe benefit;
. Continuing shifts away from areas of the country traditionally disposed to transit toward areas where the automobile is dominant; and
. A society under great pressure that feels the need for more flexibility and speed.
Nonwork Travel. While work travel grew substantially from 1969 to 1990, personal and social travel grew even more. Declining household sizes and the more rapid growth in households relative to population, along with growing affluence, have spurred nonwork trip travel. Except for walking and the use of school buses and public transit for school-related trips, the automobile is almost exclusively form of nonwork transportation.
Local Travel in Rural Areas
As rural counties become bedroom communities of metropolitan areas, they also assume a more business and manufacturing orientation, both of which result in more dependence on personal travel. In 1991 one-third of the nation's rural counties focused on nonfarming land uses. Even though rural populations comprise only 22 percent of the U.S. population, and suburban populations constitute 46 percent, the rural orientation toward the automobile is about the same as the suburban.
Rural residents walk more and make fewer trips on public transit, which is generally not available. Trip-purpose distributions are similar for rural and suburban populations, with respect to trip-making and total miles of travel. Although rural work trips tend to be shorter than metropolitan trips, rural nonwork trips are longer. The rate of ownership of driver's licenses in rural areas exceeds the national average, as does miles driven per driver. Automobile ownership rates per household are similar to suburban rates, but share of income spent on transportation differs. Rural residents spend about 20 percent of their income on transportation, while their generally more affluent urban neighbors spend only 17 percent. Demographic differences include the occurrence of more trucks than cars in rural areas and more used vehicles than new ones.
Intercity Travel. The automobile is the predominant mode of intercity transportation, followed by air, bus, and train. Business travel accounts for 16 percent of all intercity travel, and personal travel of varying types accounts for 76 percent. In recent years the trend is toward more frequent, shorter trips. Paralleling this trend is a tendency toward more weekend trips.
Freight Transportation. Over the past 40 years, tons and ton-miles (one ton of freight moved one mile equals one ton-mile) of freight moved have increased, as have tons and ton-miles per capita. However, in recent years tons moved per unit of GNP have declined, reflecting a shift in the national economy toward services, increasing use of lighter materials, and greater penetration of imported goods that have helped reduce domestic movement.
Modal Tonnage. In a comparison of modal ton-miles and revenue shares, trucking has 25 percent of ton-miles and receives 79 percent of revenues, while airfreight with only 0.3 percent of ton-miles receives 4 percent of revenues. The long-term trends in modal tonnage indicate the following:
. Rail Freight. For more than a decade, rail freight retained a 38-percent share, following a small decline from a 40-percent share at the start of the 1970s. Double-stack service (in which containers are stacked two high on the railcar) continues to grow vigorously;
. Trucking. In recent years trucking showed slow but continuous gains in shares, from 16 percent in 1950 to 28 percent in 1993;
. Rivers and Canals. Waterborne transport shares on rivers and canals grew rapidly from 5 percent in 1950 to a 10-percent share in 1970 and then to 12 percent in 1993; however during the time period the Great Lakes share dropped from 10 percent to 3 percent;
. Pipelines. Pipeline shares rose rapidly from 12 percent in 1950 to just under 25 percent in 1975 and then declined to a share of 18.5 percent in 1993; and
. Air. While small in comparison to other modes, air shares increased tenfold from 0.03 percent to 0.3 percent in 1993.
Following the first oil price shock in 1973, the transportation sector improved energy efficiency in almost every mode-passenger and freight. As a result total transportation energy use, which had been growing at a rate of 3.5 percent per year since 1950, increased by only 0.5 percent per year until the oil price collapse of 1986. The energy efficiency improvements that held the growth of energy use in check for a decade and a half have slowed to a crawl, stopped, and in some cases have been reversed. Despite price shocks and other stimuli, transportation remained nearly totally dependent on petroleum, about half of which is imported. The ability to switch to alternative fuels remains very limited. Even if all other sectors cease using petroleum, substantial imports of petroleum would be necessary to satisfy transportation needs.
Since 1988 major legislation has been enacted to create an impetus for alternative fuel use in transportation. The Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 and the 1992 Energy Policy Act provide incentives and fleet mandates for alternative fuel vehicle purchase and use. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments set forth clean fuels requirements for air quality nonattainment areas and allow states to opt into the California Clean Fuels Vehicle Program, which provides that 10 percent of car sales be Zero Emission Vehicles by 2003. Currently, battery-powered electric vehicles are the only vehicles that qualify. Although aimed at emissions reductions, these laws could have far-reaching effects on transportation energy sources and technology.
In the transportation sector, energy efficiency is measured in several ways: fuel economy (miles traveled per gallon of fuel consumed) and energy intensity (Btu per vehicle-or passenger-mile for passenger modes and Btu per vehicle-or ton-mile for freight modes).
Cars vs. Trucks. Over the past 20 years, gains in energy efficiency for automobiles outweighed the increase in travel and slowed the growth of motor gasoline consumption. For 2-axle light duty trucks, however, the average fuel economy of the on-the-road fleet has improved more slowly, and fuel use rose because of increased numbers of trucks and increased truck travel.
Passenger Vehicles vs. Transit. Most passenger modes of transportation-automobiles, intercity buses, air carriers, and Amtrak-improved their energy intensity; transit buses and rail transit, which were already very efficient, did not.
Land vs. Water. Both heavy single-unit trucks and two-axle, four-tire trucks have shown improvements in energy intensity since 1965, as did combination trucks. Between 1981 and 1991, railroad energy intensity improved while energy intensity deteriorated for water transportation. As a result, in 1991 a ton-mile of rail freight required only 388 Btu-s, compared to 402 Btu for a ton'mile of freight transported by water.
Transportation and Noise
Over the years legislation and government efforts have helped mitigate transportation noise problems. According to a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 0.4 percent of the U.S. population is exposed to noise levels more than 75 decibels (dBA) from highway vehicles, and 0.1 percent is exposed to similar noise levels from aircraft. Normally a noise level of 55 to 60 dBA is acceptable in residential areas.
Transport and Spill of Hazardous Materials
Each year the U.S. economy generates millions of tons of waste and hazardous materials. Many hazardous materials, such as gasoline, are critically important to the U.S. economy; however the transportation of these materials can present an environmental hazard, if careful attention is not given to packaging, routing, and other safety factors. In 1992 vessels caused 60 percent of all oil spill incidents into U.S. navigable waters.
Municipal Solid Waste: A New Transportation Business
The increase in the volume of municipal solid waste and the closure of local sanitary landfills have turned an environmental problem into a new line of business for railroads and long-haul trucks. Between 1987 and 1990, interstate transport of municipal solid waste quadrupled from New York exports alone. Between 1989 and 1990, New York and New Jersey exported 8 million tons, more than half of all municipal waste moved in interstate commerce. This volume equaled 400,000 truckloads of waste.
Historically trucks have dominated the market for transporting municipal solid waste, but with the increase in longer distance transportation, the market for rail is growing.
In 1993 the Department of Transportation (DOT) continued implementing recent legislation to increase compatibility of the transportation system with the environment. The DOT also supported efforts by the Administration to develop policies on climate change, wetlands, and Clean Water Act reauthorization.
Intermodal Surface Transportation
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) established new and expanded programs for funding transportation-related environmental initiatives. It increased funding flexibility in the major capital funding categories and required more rigorous integration of environmental considerations into the planning process. In 1993 DOT efforts focused on communicating the environmental and planning philosophy of ISTEA to state and local governments, as well as to interested nongovernmental organizations. The DOT Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Park Service, and EPA cooperated with the Surface Transportation Policy Project to cosponsor conferences on ISTEA and livable cities in 11 U.S. cities.
ISTEA provides for air quality improvement and transportation enhancement projects, such as scenic byways and recreational trails. More than half of the FY 1992 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds were used for transit. FY 1993 obligations were set at $832 million for the air quality program and $332 million for transportation enhancement activities, such as historic preservation, nonmotorized transportation, scenic activities, and activities related to water quality.
Funding flexibility in the major capital programs of the 6-year ISTEA legislation ($155 billion in total authorizations through FY 1997) can lead to significant environmental benefits. In FY 1993 states and localities used $400.2 million in ISTEA funds for projects such as alternatively fueled bus and van purchases, intermodal facilities design and construction, and bicycle path construction. Funding for these projects was $302.4 million in FY 1992.
National Scenic Byways Advisory Committee. A 17-member National Scenic Byways Advisory Committee was created by ISTEA to make recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on a National Scenic Byways program to encompass state and federal byways that warrant designation as National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. The Advisory Committee presented a report to the Secretary of Transportation and to the Congress in November 1993, recommending criteria for designation of National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. A corridor management plan (which describes corridor operation, preservation, and enhancement) must accompany each nomination for a National Scenic Byway or All-American Road.
Transportation Planning. In 1993 the DOT issued regulations governing transportation planning at the metropolitan and statewide levels in 1993. A stronger tie between transportation planning, land use planning, and environmental planning promises solutions that, among other benefits, will account for cumulative and secondary impacts of transportation decisions.
Transit Benefit Programs. To help reduce congestion and promote air quality and energy conservation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) spearheaded a DOT effort to make permanent the authority federal agencies have to establish Transit Benefit Programs. The DOT proposal was enacted in 1993 as the Federal Employees Clean Air Incentives Act, which allows federal agencies to provide employees who commute by public transportation with transit benefits of up to $60 per month, tax-free.
Alternative Fuels Bus Program. Since the inception of its Alternative Fuels Program in 1987, the FTA has supported 61 alternative fuel bus projects with $165.8 million in federal funds. Local matching funds were $79.7 million, for a total investment of $245.5 million.
Travel Model Improvement Program. Many of the transportation planning tools used today were developed in the 1960s, before air quality and other environmental issues were consideration in transportation policy. DOT, DOE, and EPA, are sponsoring a program which aims to improve the quality of analytical tools used for transportation decision making at all levels. Use of computer models developed in this program predict travel demand, land-use development, and air quality impacts, thus ensuring consideration of environmental factors early in the planning and decisionmaking process.
Mobility Partners. EPA inaugurated the Mobility Partners Program in 1993 to encourage transportation infrastructure decisions that are also environmentally sound. Mobility Partners will provide:
. Training and technical assistance to state and local environmental officials, as well as citizens groups, seeking to understand transportation policy and analysis and their linkages to environmental requirements;
. Transfer of successful technologies and techniques for environmentally friendly transportation across individuals, companies, and governments; and
. Direct assistance to areas seeking cross-media approaches to transportation and the environment. Examples include the Milwaukee Project, involving the State of Wisconsin and the Center for Clean Air Policy, which integrates local transportation and Clean Air Act policy with concerns for reducing the risk of climate change, and a study of cross-media impacts to the Chesapeake Bay of pollutants from automobile exhaust and runoff from roadways.
In 1993 a number of air quality accomplishments were recorded in transportation-related programs.
Climate Change Action Plan. As described in Chapter 1, the Administration released in October of 1993 its Climate Change Action Plan, a series of over fifty actions intended to return emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. The Plan includes a number of transportation sector strategies, such as measures to advance transportation demand management, and incentives for states (e.g., credits under the Clean Air Act for policies that also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases). The Plan calls for the promotion of telecommuting and fuel economy labels for tires. Of tremendous potential is a legislative proposal called Parking Cash Out that would reform the federal tax treatment of parking so as to provide employees with more flexible commute benefit choices. In total these actions are expected to reduce carbon equivalent greenhouse emissions in the year 2000 by eight million metric tons, about 7 percent of the reductions contained in the Plan as a whole.
Air Quality Report. In 1993 the DOT and EPA cooperated on activities related to transportation and air quality, completing the first report to Congress on transportation-air quality programs as required by the Clean Air Act. Clean Air Through Transportation: Challenges in Meeting National Air Quality Standards provides a status report on meeting the transportation provisions of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the air quality provisions of ISTEA.
Air Quality Conformity Regulations. The DOT cooperated with the EPA to develop transportation air quality conformity regulations published in 1993. The FHWA and FTA, in cooperation with EPA and the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), conducted seminars on implementing the regulations for transportation and air quality planners. NARC also developed technical information, including a manual on best modeling practices, under a grant from FHWA, FTA, and EPA. FTA developed guidance for performing quantitative air quality analyses that assist transit operators and their consultants in analyzing particulate matter (PM-10) impacts of new bus and rail facilities.
Transportation and Clean Air Conference. The FTA, FHWA, and National Governors Association cosponsored a conference in November 1993 which brought together state government and environmental officials to discuss progress by the states in meeting the transportation requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
Smoke-Free Travel. Concerned with the quality of air quality of travelers, the DOT has set a goal of a smoke-free environment in all modes of public transportation. In 1992 the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization passed a resolution calling for the phaseout of smoking on international flights by July 1, 1996. As a follow-up to the resolution, the United States proposed an agreement with Canada and Australia to ban smoking on all nonstop flights between these countries, and plans to work toward further agreements with other countries.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs. In 1993 DOT completed a number of case studies to be included in The National Bicycling and Walking Study, a report mandated by Congress. The goal set by the study is to double the modal share of bicycling and walking and to decrease pedestrian/bicycle accidents by 10 percent. The report outlines action plans for implementation at the local, state, and federal levels. As of June 30, 1993, states and localities used $425,504 in federal ISTEA funds in bicycle/pedestrian projects and $10.3 million in incidental projects, such as bicycle/pedestrian improvements that are part of highway projects. One half of the ISTEA transportation enhancement funds have been used for bicycle projects. In 1993 DOT also published materials for promoting bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
Railroad Programs. To address the environmental and social impacts of alternative transportation systems such as railroads, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published two annotated bibliographies: Transportation and the Environment and Environmental Externalities and Social Costs of Transportation Systems.
. High Speed Rail. The Administration has proposed funding for high speed rail technology research to develop the next generation of passenger rail by improving existing system components and promoting innovative concepts. The goal is to transform the economics of high-speed rail systems by reducing start-up costs and annual operating expenses making high speed rail a more attractive alternative to state and private sponsors.
. Environmental Impact Analysis. In 1993 the DOT issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a project to electrify the New Haven-Boston segment of the Northeast Corridor (NEC). The project would complete electrification of the Amtrak NEC from Boston to Washington, D.C., reducing Boston-to-New York travel time to less than three hours.
Aviation Noise. The Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 set national aviation noise policy and provided for transition to a quieter all Stage 3 commercial airplane fleet by December 31, 1999. The DOT's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implementing regulations provide for interim compliance dates and annual reporting by foreign and domestic operators. These reports indicate that as of December 31, 1993, Stage 3 aircraft constituted 62.4 percent of the combined domestic and foreign carrier fleets of large turbojet airplanes operating to and from U.S. airports. This compares favorably with a Stage 3 fleet mix of 52 percent based on the 1992 reports from operators.
Hazardous Materials Transportation. In 1992 and 1993 the DOT issued a number of rules to implement federal hazardous waste legislation such as the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act (HMTUSA) and the Oil Prevention Act of 1990 (OPA).
. Marine Pollutants. On November 5, 1992, the DOT issued a final rule amending hazardous materials regulations by listing and regulating, in all modes of transportation, those materials identified as marine pollutants by the International Maritime Organization. The requirements took effect on October 1, 1993.
. Hazmat Training. DOT Final Rule HM-126F, published on May 15, 1992, established training requirements for all persons involved in the transportation of hazardous materials. The rule required hazmat employers to complete employee training and testing by October 1, 1993.
. Registration of Shippers and Carriers. DOT Final Rule HM-208 was published on July 9, 1992, requiring all persons involved in the transportation of certain hazardous materials to file and pay an annual fee. This fee funds the emergency response grant program.
. Emergency Grants. DOT Final Rule HM-209, published on September 17, 1992, implemented Public Sector Training and Planning Grants. In 1993 the DOT's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) awarded emergency planning and training grants to 47 states and territories and prepared transportation awards for disbursement to Indian tribes.
. Oil Spill Prevention and Response. The RSPA published an interim final rule in February 1993 to implement the OPA. The rule strengthens release prevention by subjecting the bulk transportation of unregulated oil to the RSPA regulations issued under HMTUSA. The rule protects the environment from oil spills by requiring carriers to improve oil spill prevention efforts and emergency response plans and capabilities. The rule was controversial because the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) definition of oil includes nonpetroleum oils such as vegetable oils. On June 16, 1993, RSPA published an interim final rule that creates new requirements for implementing provisions of FWPCA and keeps HMTUSA and FWPCA requirements separate. This rule also applies to response plans for nonpetroleum oils.
. Marine Transportation and Oil Pollution. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 expanded the role of the federal government in the prevention of oil spills, providing for cleanup of spills and compensation for public and private damages. As a DOT agency, the U.S. Coast Guard administers the law in cooperation with the NOAA and EPA. For a description of these programs, see Chapter 3: Wetlands and Coastal Waters.
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Our Nation's Highways: Selected Facts and Figures, (Washington, DC: DOT, FHWA, 1992).
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