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CEIC-07-04

"For energy security and greenhouse gas reductions, plugin hybrids a more sensible pathway than coal-to-liquids gasoline"
Paulina Jaramillo and Constantine Samaras

Abstract:
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce (2007) is considering enacting policies to subsidize the production of transportation fuel from coal-to-liquid projects (CTL). This policy would enhance national security by lowering oil imports, but encouraging plug-in hybrids is a less costly policy that also reduce oil imports and does more to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper compares GHG emissions of CTL gasoline to the emissions of plug-in hybrid vehicles powered with electricity generated with coal. A life cycle approach is used so that all stages of the life cycle of each fuel, from production to use, are included. This analysis allows us to better identify benefits, or disadvantages, of an energy future that includes coal as a transportation fuel.

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