From the inbox:
The Volkswagen emissions scandal is putting pressure on many countries to take a closer look at their vehicle emissions testing for cars that run on diesel fuel. It seems that such engines are actually worse for the environment than previously thought, and this issue is particularly important in Europe, where about half of new vehicles run on diesel fuel.
RFF’s Joshua Linn and Virginia McConnell conclude that “meeting strict standards for nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles alone might not be so difficult.” Diesel-powered cars emit less carbon dioxide but more nitrogen oxides than gasoline-powered cars, and reducing both nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gas emissions “will be challenging for vehicles, and especially for diesel vehicles.” Illustrating this tension, Linn’s research, “Explaining the Adoption of Diesel Fuel Passenger Cars in Europe,” suggests that many consumers are attracted to diesel-powered cars because of their higher fuel economy. RFF’s Casey Wichman weighs in in a new blog post, “Valuing Private Goods with Public Benefits: Confessions of a ‘Clean’ Diesel Owner,” noting: “The weight I initially placed on the environmental bona fides of my car is now more of a burden than a benefit.”