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

House Committee Slashes Environmental Funding, Blocks Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule

The markup on the FY 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill has resulted in massive funding cuts for many environmental sectors.

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News Release | Environment America

Governor Christie Moves Forward with Plan to Double Down on Climate Inaction

Trenton—After announcing its intentions to do so in May, the Christie Administration today formally proposed to once again prevent New Jersey from participating in a regional program that limits dangerous climate-changing pollution from power plants. This action comes despite the New Jersey legislature twice voting to keep the state in the program, overwhelming bipartisan support for pollution limits from state residents, and a court ruling earlier this year that a previous attempt to dodge the limits was done illegally. 

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News Release | Environment America

New Report: Electric Cars Are Putting the Brakes on Pollution

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 220,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are on America’s roads today, delivering real benefits for our health and our environment, according to a new report released today by Environment America Research and Policy Center. In just the last two years, annual sales of electric vehicles have increased by 500 percent.

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News Release | Environment America

Supreme Court ruling preserves Clean Power Plan and EPA authority

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit carbon pollution from power plants but limited the EPA’s authority to issue permits for a narrow set of industrial facilities.

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News Release | Environment America

Environment America Launches Global Warming Solutions Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two weeks after Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the Clean Power Plan — the first-ever federal limits on global warming pollution from power plants — Environment America launched a nationwide “Global Warming Solutions Campaign.”

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