“The return to less fuel efficient vehicles and low gasoline prices have resulted in two consecutive years of rising gasoline consumption. In 2016, sales of gasoline rose 3.3 percent to 136 billion gallons, only 1.5 percent below the all-time peak achieved in 2005 and 7.1 percent above the recent trough achieved in 2012.”
Meanwhile, investment in other forms of sustainable transportation, such as efficient mass-transit systems, remains in limbo due to the new administration in Washington. The Department of Transportation recently withheld of funds for Caltrain electrification in the San Francisco Bay Area – a project that would have widespread positive mobility and sustainability impacts – worrying many in the region and beyond.
Still, there is much to be optimistic about. We’re heading in the right direction. Now we just need to focus, bring more renewables online faster, and target greening the transportation sector just as we have, successfully, shifted the electricity sector from dirty fossil fuels toward clean, affordable renewables.
Image credit: Max Pixel
Nithin Coca is a freelance journalist who focuses on environmental, social, and economic issues around the world, with specific expertise in Southeast Asia.
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