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.


Get Off Oil Updates

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Praise for Senate's rejection of Keystone XL pipeline

We applaud today’s vote and all those senators who stood up against the oil industry and its allies, and did the right thing for our communities and our children’s future." -- Anna Aurilio, Environment America

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Senate, Obama should stand strong on Keystone XL

Washington, DC- This afternoon, the House of Representatives took yet another vote to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, in spite of mounting evidence that the controversial project is not in the national interest. As the United States takes steps toward meaningful action on climate, it is clear that Keystone XL would be a step in the wrong direction, threatening the climate as well as our land and water, while bringing no benefits to the American people.

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U.S.-China climate agreement critical step on path to Paris

“The path to Paris should be paved with concrete actions to cut emissions and invest in clean energy, and last night the world's two largest global warming polluters pledged just that.” – Margie Alt, Environment America

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