Social Cost Analysis of Transportation Energy Futures 


Lew Fulton

Additional Researchers

Marshall Miller, Mark Delucchi 


STEPS has evaluated a range of transition pathways in terms of CO2 reduction potential and cost. But cost typically includes direct monetary costs (capex, opex). Potential transition pathways should, to the extent possible and reasonable, be evaluated as well by the value/cost impacts related to climate, air quality, water use, energy security, land use, biodiversity, human health, job creation, and possibly other factors. No LCA model does this, or does this in a thorough way. Some impacts are missing or poorly represented, and economic feedback loops are missing. It is a big challenge, but STEPS could start to tackle this for specific regions and/or for specific impacts. A scenario approach and tools such as monte carlo can be used to test for the effects of uncertainty and the importance of different parameters and assumes. The results should be more robust estimates of the full cost of different pathways and combinations of pathways to reach CO2 reduction targets. 

This project will work closely with Mark Delucchi, who has worked in this area for over 20 years, to develop an up-to-date and appropriately designed and measured set of external, social costs and parameters that can be linked to our existing transition models, leading to results that are comparable and add a more complete picture to the relative costs and benefits to society of moving down different sustainability pathways.   

The project will document the assumptions and include both a reporting on key parameters now and in the future, and provide up to 3 updated scenarios at least for CA that include the additional types of social costs covered in this report.