By John Livermore and Adam Blair

Electrifying US transportation is key to achieving critical Federal and State decarbonization and public health goals. In support of this, EBP recently produced a study that was instrumental in bolstering the case for Connecticut’s proposal to adopt California’s nation-leading Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II), Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT), and the Heavy-Duty Omnibus regulations.
Twenty twenty-two was the year that finally put the climate impacts of carbon emissions front and center in the cultural zeitgeist. From flooding in Pakistan, to extreme heat across Europe, to drought, wildfires, hurricanes and extreme weather in the U.S., the risks of climate inaction were clear.
When funds are short, agencies are often challenged to justify decisions about which projects to do and not to do. One way that agencies address this situation is by conducting cost-benefit analysis, which quantifies all of the potential benefits of projects relative to their costs and compares which investments seem to offer the best outcomes for the money. Agencies may use cost-benefit analysis to justify a particular project (showing its benefits are more than its costs) or to rank projects based on which ones offer the most benefits per dollar spent (often regarded as a ‘prioritization’ process). Using economic methods to compare the benefits of projects can be an extremely useful and powerful tool both for decision making and for explaining choices to stakeholders. However, challenges arise when agencies find that there are “intangible” (or difficult to quantify) outcomes which are known to be important.