A new analysis from the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that reducing petroleum use and greenhouse-gas emissions by 80% for cars and small trucks by 2050 is possible, using a mix of alternative fuels, more efficient vehicles and aggressive policies aimed at influencing consumer choices and curbing costs, writes Andrew Revkin. Among the report's suggestions is the imposition of a tax on petroleum-based fuels, which would curb their use and assure investors there is a lucrative market for alternative fuels, Revkin notes.

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