The Transportation Energy and Carbon Footprints of the 100 Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas
Brown, Marilyn A.
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In this paper we present estimates of the automobile and truck travel based energy and carbon footprints of the largest 100 U.S. metropolitan areas. The footprints are based on the estimated vehicle miles traveled and the transportation fuels consumed. Results are presented on an annual basis and represent end use emissions only. Total carbon emissions, emissions per capita, and emissions per dollar of gross metropolitan product are reported. Two years of annual data were examined, 2000 and 2005, with most of the in-depth analysis focused on the 2005 results. In section 2 we provide background data on the national picture and derive some carbon and energy consumption figures for the nation as a whole. In section 3 of the paper we examine the metropolitan area-wide results based on the sums and averages across all 100 metro areas, and compare these with the national totals and averages. In section 4 we present metropolitan area specific footprints and examine the considerable variation that is found to exist across individual metro areas. In doing so we pay particular attention to the effects that urban form might have on these differences. Finally, section 5 provides a summary of major findings, and a list of caveats that need to be borne in mind when using the results due to known limitations in the data sources used.