Commission Unveils Plan to Cut Transportation’s Energy Use

WASHINGTON – Industry, union, political and environmental leaders today united behind a wide-ranging plan meant to halve energy use in transportation.

The 50x50 Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency is made up of representatives from automakers and electric utilities, cities and consumer groups, unions and environmental groups. Rhea Suh, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s president, is one of the 24 commissioners.  

“Transportation represents our biggest source of carbon emissions, and now, more than ever, it’s important that this group has come to together with the common purpose to make our transportation options cleaner and greener,” Suh said. “While each of us comes from a different perspective, we all recognize that cars and trucks need to get more efficient – and our transport options grow.”

NRDC has long recognized that the efficiency of our lightbulbs, refrigerators or electronics is our nation’s largest clean-energy resource. The same can be true for transportation: More efficient vehicles mean drivers can go further without filling up at the gas station, saving them money while reducing harmful carbon pollution.

Among the recommendations from the group:

  • Continue to increase fuel-economy standards;
  • extend and improve the electric-vehicle tax credit;
  • invest more from the federal government in finding and deploying innovative technologies.

“These are ideas to rally around,” said Roland Hwang, managing director of the Climate and Clean Energy Program at NRDC. “That’s good news since averting the most dangerous impacts of climate change requires us to transform transportation.”

Hwang, who spoke at the commission unveiling this morning, has a new blog posted here:

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​


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