Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Jesse T. Richman

Committee Member

Steve A. Yetiv

Committee Member

Mecit Cetin


Shale boom has changed the track of discussions on the future of the U.S. energy politics. A new opportunity emerged to meet domestic demand of the U.S. by using secure sources. Transportation accounts for a quarter of energy consumption in the U.S. Increasing the share of natural gas in the transport sector bolsters the U.S. energy security because of shifting from insecure sources (imported oil) to secure sources (shale gas reserves). Using natural gas instead of oil in light-duty vehicles (LDVs) contributes to the efforts of decreasing dependence on insecure sources and also decreases anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by this segment of the transport sector. Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) have the conversion advantage compared to other alternative fuel vehicles; current LDVs can be converted to natural gas-fueled vehicles. Different than the other alternative fuel vehicle types, there is no need to wait to renew the current LDV fleet. This aspect of NGVs makes it possible for natural gas to provide a solution in the short to middle term. This study examines the extent to which using the abundant shale gas reserves of the U.S. as a fuel for the U.S. LDV fleet can contribute towards decreasing both its energy dependency and anthropogenic GHG emissions by using a system dynamics model and simulating it under four different scenarios.


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