Transportation, Energy, And The Environment

Authored by: Konstantina Gkritza

The Routledge Handbook of Transportation

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138798212
eBook ISBN: 9781315756684
Adobe ISBN: 9781317630913


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Transportation systems are crucial to the economy and quality of life. In 2012, transportation-related goods and services accounted for approximately 10 percent—over $1.5 trillion—of the United States (US) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2014a). However, the construction, expansion, operation, and maintenance of the various transportation systems and modes have direct, indirect, and cumulative/synergistic impacts on energy use, air quality, water and soil quality, noise, land use, and nature conservation. The transportation sector accounted for 28 percent of US energy consumption, 71 percent of petroleum use, and 28 percent of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (1.8 billion tons of CO2 equivalent emissions annually) in 2012 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2013a; US Environmental Protection Agency, 2014). Petroleum use is predominantly related to vehicle miles traveled (VMT), a widely used measure of vehicle travel demand in the US; almost 97 percent of the primary demand for transportation is met by petroleum (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2014b).

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