Date of Award
Campus Access only Research Projects
Master of Science
School or College
Seaver College of Science and Engineering
As a consequence of the Arab oil embargo in 1973, the United States enacted the first Corporate Average Fuel Consumption standards in 1975 through the Energy Policy Conservation Act enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. These standards were to improve the fuel economy of passenger cars and light-trucks. Increasing the fuel efficiency of vehicles has not been the only goal of the Environmental Protection Agency. Along the way it has been responsible for many laws regulating the amount of harmful exhaust pipe emissions released into the environment from the combustion of petroleum fuels. This has been accomplished by (but not limited to) requiring catalytic converters on vehicle exhaust systems, the elimination of lead from gasoline, and putting limits on smog causing nitrous oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and tailpipe particulate matter. In the United States, it is estimated that as of 2011, when compared to the Commercial and Residential, Agricultural, Electricity, and other industries, the transportation sector accounts for 28% of GHG (primarily CO2) emissions. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global CO2 concentrations in the environment have exceeded historic natural occurring levels. Since CO2 is a gas that naturally traps heat, it is believed to be the main cause of global warming. As a response to the threat of global warming, the United States once again has passed new CAFE standards for model year vehicles 2017 through 2025 to decrease the dependency on petroleum fuels and reducing CO2 in the environment. Enforced by the EPA and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the law aims to double the current combined fuel efficiency of passenger cars and light-trucks by 2025 to 54.5 miles per gallon while capping the limit of tailpipe CO2 emissions to 163 grams per mile.
As a responsible consumer, selecting a vehicle with high fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions will play a key role in reduction of CO2 emissions in the automotive sector. The environment is something that the entire global population has in common, making us environmental stakeholders. As such, we must do our part to preserve the environment for future generations. (Picture on cover courtesy of www.car-emissions-explained.co.uk)
Ramirez, Julio C., "Vehicular CO2 Reduction in the United States" (2014). LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations. 428.