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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Transportation Chair's Column

National Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil Campaign and How You Can Help
June 2016

By Transportation Chair, Neil Agron

Global warming emissions from the transportation sector can be reduced by increasing the production and use of clean, highly efficient vehicles powered by sustainable low carbon fuels and electricity and by designing more sustainable communities to include accessible and convenient alternatives to driving. The Sierra Club is working to achieve three primary outcomes in this initiative as fully described on the National website:

1. Clean and efficient vehicles: We support a fleet-wide new vehicle fuel economy average of at least 60 mpg by 2025 through a combination of state and federal standards and a shift to vehicle electrification. A very important step the United States can take to curb global warming and save oil is to require automakers to produce cleaner, more efficient vehicles. Each gallon of gasoline we burn emits between 24 and 28 pounds of carbon dioxide - the most common greenhouse gas - into the atmosphere. By using existing technology to produce vehicles that go farther on a gallon of gas and emit less carbon dioxide pollution, Americans can save billions of dollars, cut global warming pollution, and slash our dependence on oil by replacing their old technology cars with new, cleaner fuel efficient models

2. Lower-carbon fuels: The goal is to reduce the carbon content of the fuels used for transportation by 15% below the 2005 level by 2030. Just as cars and trucks are becoming cleaner, so should the fuels we put in them. The transportation sector emits one-third of US global warming emissions and is the fastest growing sector. Encouraging the use of low-carbon fuels such as certain biofuels can be vital to curbing greenhouse gas pollution.

3. A 21st-Century Transportation System: We can all reduce vehicle miles traveled per person by increasing public transit use, fostering compact communities with transportation choices (rail, bus, walking, biking), and by cutting the number of car trips taken. In Monterey County, Mari Lynch created a bicycling information hub,, to support visitors and residents in biking. Bicycling Monterey includes detailed tips for using rail, bus, and other transportation in combination with biking; please check out the website and learn how you can save fuel at the Bike-and-Ride section:

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