New York’s Roadmap for Reducing Greenhouse Gases in the Transportation Sector

Many states are taking steps to address concerns relating to climate change and clean or renewable energy. New York, for example, generated more than twenty-nine billion metric tons of energy-related carbon dioxide in 2007 alone, more than one-third of which came from its transportation sector. New York commissioned a series of studies to explore the likely positive and negative impacts associated with development of a biofuels industry, the most recent, the Roadmap, came out in April 2010.This Article provides a general overview of the main issues associated with the process and development underlying the Roadmap, as well as an analysis of the contents of the report. After discussing some of the Roadmap’s underpinnings and major findings, this Article carefully discusses how the findings of the report should be interpreted, particularly given some of the necessary assumptions and uncertainties underlying its analysis. After conducting a thoughtful analysis of a “broad but realistic” examination of major issues and their interactions, the Article offers an insightful conclusion: although the Roadmap does not—and, perhaps, cannot—prescribe any particular course of action regarding whether New York should actively promote an expanded biofuels industry, the Roadmap nevertheless provides policymakers with a detailed examination of the major issues associated with such an expansion.

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