Effects of Changing Transportation Energy Supplies and Alternative Fuel Sources on Transportation

Increases in global energy consumption, especially within the transportation sector, are expected to increase demand for oil. Fossil fuel emissions and greenhouse gases from all sources may continue to increase, contributing to air pollution and climate change. As the effects of climate change become more evident, there will be a continual push to move toward energy efficiency and alternative fuels in the transportation sector. Given that the entire transportation sector accounted for more than 90% of all liquid fuel consumption in 2006, it is clear that changes in energy infrastructure and energy sources will affect transportation activities. World population growth and energy demand are inexorably linked, but the fossil-based energy supply is finite. Alternative technologies are emerging in the marketplace and may have the potential to require enormous changes over time in how state departments of transportation (DOTs) operate. Implementation of alternative fuels will also necessitate a change in highway funding strategies. Most of the revenue that DOTs use for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the highway system comes from federal and individual state gas taxes assessed on traditional motor vehicle fuels. The ability to finance future transportation programs has already been negatively affected by various technological, economic, and social changes, and these affects will be magnified over time. The objectives of this research are (1) to determine how the mandate, role, funding, and operations of DOTs will likely be affected by future changes in long-term energy supply and demand and (2) to identify strategies and actions that can be used by the DOTs to plan and prepare for these effects.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-83(04)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC    20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Performing Organizations:

    Rand Corporation

    1700 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138
    Santa Monica, CA  USA  90401-2138
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sorensen, Paul

  • Start Date: 20090107
  • Source Data: RiP Project 20401

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464308
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-83(04)
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:40PM