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Driving the Future
Cover of Driving the Future
Driving the Future
Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars
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A distinguished expert offers a dazzling preview of the cars of the future, while exploring the science and politics behind climate change.As the director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air...
A distinguished expert offers a dazzling preview of the cars of the future, while exploring the science and politics behind climate change.As the director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air...
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Description-

  • A distinguished expert offers a dazzling preview of the cars of the future, while exploring the science and politics behind climate change.
    As the director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, engineer Margo Oge was the chief architect behind the Obama administration's landmark 2012 deal with automakers in the US market to double the fuel efficiency of their fleets to 54.5 mpg and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025. This was America's first formal climate action using regulation to reduce emissions through innovation in car design. Tom Friedman praised the new rules as the “Big Deal" that redeemed the administration's previous inaction.
    In Driving the Future, Oge portrays a future where clean, intelligent vehicles with lighter frames and alternative power trains will produce zero emissions and run at 100+ mpg. With electronic architectures more like that of airplanes, cars will be smarter and safer, will park themselves, and will network with other vehicles on the road to drive themselves. Offering an insider account of the partnership between Federal agencies, California, environmental groups, and car manufacturers that led to the historic deal, she discusses the science of climate change, the politics of addressing it, and the lessons learned for policymakers. She also takes the reader through the convergence of macro trends that will drive this innovation over the next forty years and be every bit as transformative as those wrought by Karl Benz and Henry Ford.

About the Author-

  • Margo Oge retired as director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality after thirty-two years with the EPA. She received Presidential Awards from Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and numerous environmental and industry awards. She is vice chairman of the board of DeltaWing Technologies, which is creating a new passenger car based on the DeltaWing race car, and is a board member of the National Academies of Science, UCS, ICCT, and ACE. She has an MS in engineering from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and attended George Washington and Harvard Universities. She resides in McLean, Virginia.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2015
    Environmental Protection Agency insider Oge meticulously recounts the political battles that have cleared the way for more intelligent, fuel-efficient transportation.The author has a vision for the future of the automobile. It's not exactly the flying car of the future, but almost, as it comes with smartphone-synced scheduling, zero-emissions technology and the ability to park itself. The highly autonomous vehicles she describes in the opening of her astute, if not always captivating, memoir may seem like a pipe dream, but Oge knows her stuff. She is the former director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the EPA, where she worked for more than 30 years. The information she presents is highly detailed and carries the authority of a woman who has fought diligently and consistently for each step forward on the efficiency regulations she sees as a crucial part of our nation's response to climate change. Readers may expect some degree of drama, as Oge chronicles her battles with climate science deniers, administrative changes of heart, and the automobile and oil industries. Instead, the author offers a more measured account of the meetings, calls, emails and political wrangling behind each improvement her team was able to push through. Her frustration is clear, but this is not an emotional memoir; it's about policy, and it's thorough enough to serve as a course in how modern government really works. Anecdotes and asides occasionally add a personal tone to the writing-e.g., when Oge bought a Toyota Prius and was stunned by the difference between its stated miles per gallon (calculated by her own agency) and the much lower on-the-street reality. Soon enough, though, she was back to budget meetings and court hearings-all of them important but without much emotional charge to engage readers. An exhaustive, occasionally exhausting look at the long and winding road to a smart car future.

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2015

    Oge, a 32-year veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency (now retired), was a key player in the Obama administration's 2012 deal with automakers to double fleetwide fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg and halve emissions by 2025. This was no small feat: in fact, when The Economist recently ranked carbon-mitigation efforts across the globe, these standards were among the top five (behind, for example, the Montreal protocol to limit CFCs, which was first). The heart of the book is Part 2: "The Big Deal." Here Oge provides a detailed account of how the historic regulation was forged, the tortuous back and forth among auto companies, engineers, and government officials, the compromises struck, and the eventual agreement signed. At times it reads like a transcription of the author's diary, with quoted conversations (at one point she even tells us what one of the players is thinking), and while this lends veracity to the text, it also makes for a rather plodding narrative. VERDICT Environmental policy wonks will enjoy getting the inside story of a bureaucrat's signature achievement. Car guys, however, will be disappointed, as there is probably not much here that they haven't already read about future auto technology in Popular Science or Popular Mechanics.--Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus Reviews

    “The author has a vision for the future of the automobile. It's not exactly the flying car of the future, but almost, as it comes with smartphone-synced scheduling, zero-emissions technology, and the ability to park itself. . . . Astute . . . Oge knows her stuff."

  • Booklist “Enlightening . . . With her firsthand knowledge of the designs and methods the auto industry is using to achieve this milestone, Oge is the perfect person to preview the type of vehicles we will likely be driving over the next several decades. . . . Readers tired of traffic gridlock and expensive gas bills will enjoy this vision of hack-proof, computer-driven, self-parking cars, along with Oge's optimism about halting global warming."
  • Electric Car Online "Let's get straight to the dirt: Margo Oge knows where the bodies are buried . . . [and makes] astonishing revelations about exactly how good policy based on science in thwarted by political hacks."
  • Governor Jerry Brown "Margo tells the incredible story of how California and then Washington were able to mandate much cleaner cars and light trucks. This is the story of how hard it is to combat climate change--and also how imaginative and determined leaders can get it done."
  • Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation "Margo Oge describes the astounding transformation of cars and trucks in America--cutting pollution by more than 97 percent, and greenhouse gases by more than half--and shows the way to complete this job. It is a compelling story and a great read."
  • Lisa Heinzerling, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law CenterDriving the Future is a testament to the progress that is possible when committed public servants are allowed to follow the scientific evidence where it leads and to envision and then execute ambitious plans for a better technological and environmental future."
  • Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator under President Barack Obama "Margo Oge provides a riveting insider's account of the people, science, politics, and technologies behind an improbable victory in the battle against global warming. Based on her understanding of how regulation can drive innovation, she depicts a future in which cleaner, lighter, smarter cars will become tools in the fight against climate change rather than contribute to it. Every citizen should read her book and feel proud of what we can accomplish together."
  • Ken Kimmel, president, Union of Concerned Scientists “Drawing upon her experience as an architect of game-changing fuel economy standards, Margo Oge gives us a roadmap to a future world of better and cleaner cars, healthier air, reduced geopolitical conflict, and stronger communities. If we get there, it will be because of visionaries such as Oge."
  • Ulrich Kranz, BMW, senior vice president, Product Line i "Margo and her team at the EPA helped craft far-reaching GHG and fuel economy standards for the US that are accelerating the adoption of future automotive technologies like plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. Margo has the credibility and the record for convincingly discussing a carbon free future in her book, a vision we share."
  • Fred Krupp, president, Environmental Defense Fund "Driving the Future is a real-world story about the policy visionaries, business leaders, and dedicated citizens who are spurring the clean energy revolution--and ushering in a new era of prosperity for our nation and the world."
  • Tom Linebarger, chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc. “Margo has given us a fascinating insider's view of regulatory development and a framework for collaborative rulemaking that literally changed the face--and tailpipes--of an industry, and a thoughtful look forward to future opportunities."
  • Mario J. Molina, PhD, professor at the University of California, San Diego, and winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in elucidating the threat to the earth's ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbon gasesDriving the Future is the story of a dramatic success in a key battle in the fight against global warming--improving the environmental performance of vehicle fleets--with a lucid explanation of how to bridge science and public policy. Reading the book is as pleasant as having a talk with a good friend, and as informative as a full course in public policy."
  • Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board "It's a great story: an insider's account of the unprecedented collaboration of politicians, regulators, and industry that created the world's first standards for low-carbon vehicles and a practical guide to steps that all of us--including consumers--must take to create a global market for vehicles that can take us where we...

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Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars
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