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"Comparing Land, Water, and Materials Impacts" chapter 7 in Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways: A Research Summary for Decision Makers

UCD-ITS-RP-11-26

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Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

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Suggested Citation:
Yeh, Sonia, Gouri Shankar Mishra, Mark A. Delucchi, Jacob Teter (2011) "Comparing Land, Water, and Materials Impacts" chapter 7 in Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways: A Research Summary for Decision Makers. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, 171 - 186

The environmental impact of transportation fuels and vehicles doesn’t stop at GHG emissions but also includes impacts on land, water, and materials used in their production. Local land-use impacts occur where biofuel feedstocks are grown; these must be acknowledged and weighed against the land-use impacts of oil production. (Note that in addition to its direct local impacts, biofuel production can have important indirect impacts; these are considered in Chapter 12.) Production of fossil fuels, biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen all have water footprints that must be considered in any comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts. In addition, advanced vehicle technologies use materials that might become a barrier to development if they are either scarce or else concentrated in a few countries. This chapter focuses on work that has been done so far comparing the sustainability of different fuel/vehicle pathways along these lines. 

Available online at http://steps.ucdavis.edu/STEPS.Book