The cost of our oil addiction

American families are paying more than ever for our addiction to oil. With rising global demand and instability in the Middle East pushing oil prices ever higher, oil dependence takes an enormous bite out of our paychecks and our economy. But the prices that we pay with our wallets are only a fraction of the true costs of our addiction to oil. 

We pay for it with our lungs, every time we breathe in toxic chemicals released from burning oil.

We also pay for our oil with our beaches, coasts and oceans.  In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster dumped 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and contaminated thousands of miles of coastline. And in 2011, an Exxon Mobil pipeline spilled and dumped 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River, which runs through the national park.

It doesn't have to be this way. And in 2011, Environment America made encouraging inroads in our effort to break our nation’s oil addiction.

At 54.5 mpg, a big move to get America off oil

In the wake of the Yellowstone spill, our staff and allies got straight to work, mobilizing more than 21,000 people to voice their support for cleaner cars that use less oil.

The Obama administration responded with fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, finalized in August, 2012. The standards represent the largest single step the U.S. has ever taken to tackle global warming.

The standards will cut carbon pollution from vehicles in the United States by 270 million metric tons—the equivalent of the annual pollution of 40 million of today’s vehicles—and save 1.5 million barrels of oil every day.

What You Can Do: Ten Tips to Get Off Oil

Strong fuel efficiency standards are critical to reducing our oil dependence. However, small changes can also add up to a big difference.

Check out our Top 10 Tips to use less oil and shrink your carbon footprint. Then, thank President Obama for finalizing historic clean cars standards.


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