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

News Release | Environment America

States, executive branch cutting pollution even while Congress resists climate action

WASHINGTON, DC – Even in the face of congressional obstruction, state governments and federal rules are playing a major role in U.S. progress to address climate change, a new report said today. In the next decade, existing state policies and federal measures such as the Clean Power Plan will cut carbon pollution by 1.1 billion metric tons, or 27 percent from 2005 levels.

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Path to the Paris Climate Conference

Even without Congress, the federal executive branch and states are playing a major role in U.S. progress to address climate change. In the next decade, existing state policies and federal rules such as the Clean Power Plan will cut carbon pollution by 1.1 billion metric tons, or 27 percent from 2005 levels.

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News Release | Environment America

U.S. House votes to block Clean Power Plan in spite of increasing calls for bold climate action

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House voted this afternoon to derail the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which makes deep cuts in carbon pollution from power plants, the nation's largest source of global warming pollution.

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News Release | Environment America

Trucks and buses will be more efficient, less polluting

WASHINGTON, DC – Eighteen-wheelers, school and transit buses, and other large vehicles will be much more efficient and less polluting by the end of the next decade, according to a proposal issued today by the Obama administration. The medium and heavy-duty vehicles covered by the rule account for a significant portion of the nation’s global warming pollution and fuel consumption.

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News Release | Environment America

Pope's encyclical is a powerful call for climate action

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today Pope Francis formally issued his much-anticipated encyclical, which casts action on climate as a moral obligation.

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