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XI. Conclusions

Focusing on California, Leone (1999, pp. 304-5) comes close to the argument in this paper: "Many options for addressing California's remaining air pollution problems are politically unpalatable or extremely expensive: these include unpopular restrictions on driving; costly public transit investments that are disruptive and require long lead times; and fundamental changes in land use that require even longer lead times. EVs, in contrast, emit no emissions at the point of use and, therefore, do not require driving restrictions. Although the electricity to power them does generate pollution at the power plant, these discharges typically occur away from urban areas (at least in California) and need not exacerbate the air pollution problems in an urban air basin. The highway infrastructure already exists to accommodate EVs, and no pervasive changes in land use are necessary." I have elaborated the reasons why the land use and travel behavior solutions will not work. In addition, I have substituted the hybrids for EVs as the most effective mid-term solution to the urban air pollution problem.24 The cost is minimal emissions rather than zero emissions25, but this would be offset by a drop in power plant emissions. Also, in the near term, there is progress to be made in emissions technology (e.g. reformulated gasoline [probably with ethanol additives substituted for the potentially dangerous MTBE], pre-warmed catalytic converters, the new SULEV Nissan Sentra and Honda Accord) and in the extension of emissions rules to trucks, pickups and SUVs (to be introduced by 2007, and already being voluntarily complied with by the Ford Motor Co.). The bottom line is the need for more modesty on the part of planners. They should not expect that they can solve all economic, social or environmental problems by changes in land use and/or by influencing individual behavior.

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