Security Preparedness and Response

Security Preparedness and Response

Energy Security

Energy security has received special attention as the average retail gasoline prices rose 119 percent, from $1.86 in January 2005 to $4.11 in June 2008 (Figure 1-2-5: Fuel Prices)1. The rate of increase of the number of vehicles on the road, as indicated by vehicle registrations, was about the same as the increase in motor fuel consumption—both are associated with increases in CO2 emissions. Transportation CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2006 increased 25 percent, about the same as the population increase of 23 percent2. The biggest factor boosting CO2 emissions is vehicle miles-traveled, which increased 57 percent since 19873.

Fuel Efficiency

In December 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed, which requires that the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) reach 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020. This requirement applies to light trucks as well as passenger automobiles. Currently, the law requires a minimum CAFE standard of 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for passenger vehicles and 22.2 mpg for light trucks (Table 1-1-3: Average Fuel Efficiency of U.S. Passenger Cars and Light Trucks).

As with automobiles, aircraft and aircraft engines have become more efficient—a 70 percent improvement in fuel efficiency in the last 30 years4. According to the Federal Aviation Aministration, U.S. airlines have committed to another 30 percent improvement by 2025.

Energy Prices

Since 1995, U.S. transportation use of energy has increased about 22 percent (Table 1-2-1: U.S. Petroleum Use by the Transportation Sector). The transportation sector now accounts for about 69 percent of total U.S. petroleum use in 2007, up from 66 percent in 1995.

Fuel prices have been rising since 2003 for all modes of transportation, putting pressure on carriers to cut costs and raise rates (Table 1-2-6: Sales Price of Transportation Fuel to End-Users). Carriers pass fuel-price increases onto shippers and consumers through rate increases or fuel surcharges.

Alternative Fuels

There are 5,748 alternative fueling stations (AFSs) in the United States (Appendix C: Alternative Fueling Stations: Total). The types of fuels for which AFS data are collected include biodiesel (BD), compressed natural gas (CNG), 85% ethanol (E85), propane (LPG), hydrogen (H), electric, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations5. LPG accounts for 37 percent of stations, followed by E85 (30 percent), CNG (13 percent), BD (11 percent), and electric (8 percent)6.

California leads the nation with 864 AFSs, followed by Texas with 593, and Minnesota with 385, and Illinois with 262 (Appendix C: Alternative Fueling Stations: Total). South Carolina (73) and North Carolina (66) have the most BD stations (Appendix C: Alternative Fueling Stations: Biodiesel). California (184) and New York (92) are home to the most CNG stations. In addition, California accounts for 376 of the nation's 439 electric stations (Appendix C: Alternative Fueling Stations: Electric). E85 stations are concentrated in the upper Midwest, with Minnesota (353) and Illinois (181) having the greatest number of stations (Appendix C: Alternative Fueling Sta tions: 85% Ethanol (E85)). Texas (484) and California (199) account for nearly one-third of the LPG stations in the United States (Appendix C: Alternative Fueling Stations: Propane (LPG)).

Alternative fuels have the potential to lessen the U.S. transportation system's environmental impact and improve the nation's energy security.

Transportation Security

Transportation security has received heightened national attention in the post-9/11 environment. Airports, border crossings, seaports, transportation service providers, and transit agencies across the country have taken steps to ensure the safety and security of cargos and passengers. The nation's seaports have been rapidly adopting the new Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) technology. The TWIC helps ensure that only authorized personnel gain access to the secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels (Table 1-2-8: Transportation Worker Identifica tion Credential Program).

The number of international piracy incidents and armed robberies at sea are down from a record high set in 2000 (Table 1-2-9: International Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea). For the past 3 years, the number of East African incidents has increased, especially in the waters surrounding Somalia. However, in 2007, the South China Sea still accounted for the majority of incidents reported.

1 U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. All Grades All Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices (Cents per Gallon), available at as of Oct. 19, 2008.

2 U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States 2001, available at as of July 30, 2008.

3 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2006, available at as of July 30, 2008.

4 Air Transport Association of America, Inc., ATA Letter to Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher Addressing Climate Change, available at as of Sept. 15, 2008.

5 U.S. Department of Energy, Advance Fuels and Advance Vehicles Data Center, Alternative Fueling Station Total Counts by State and Fuel Type (Washington, DC: Dec. 19, 2008), available at as of Dec. 19, 2008.

6 U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics calculations based upon U.S. Department of Energy, Advance Fuels and Advance Vehicles Data Center, Al ternative Fueling Station Total Counts by State and Fuel Type (Washington, DC: Dec. 19, 2008), available at as of Dec. 19, 2008.