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Automobile Fuel Economy Standards: Impacts, Efficiency, and Alternatives

Sources:

Resources for the Future

Authors:

Soren Anderson

Ian Parry

James Sallee

Carolyn Fischer

Date:

1 January 2010

This paper discusses fuel economy regulations in the United States and other countries. It first describes how these programs affect fuel use and other dimensions of the vehicle fleet. It then reviews different methodologies for assessing the costs of fuel economy regulations and discusses the policy implications of the results. The report also compares the welfare effects of fuel economy standards with those of fuel taxes and assesses whether these two policies complement each other. Finally, it reviews arguments in favor of a “feebate” system, which imposes fees on inefficient vehicles and provides rebates for efficient vehicles.