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. 


Get Off Oil Updates

News Release | Environment America

EPA Affirms Clean Car Standards

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency affirmed that automakers can and must make cars and trucks more efficient. This action ensures that fuel efficiency standards will continue to increase as proposed in 2012, with cars and light-duty trucks reaching 54.5 miles per gallon by model year 2025. These standards will make our vehicles go twice as far on a gallon of gas, reduce dangerous air pollution, protect our climate, and save American drivers money at the pump.

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News Release | Environment America

Governor Cuomo proposes replacing Indian Point Nuclear Plant with renewable energy, more emissions cuts

New York, NY - Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Indian Point nuclear power plant—located 24 miles north of New York City—will be shutting down by April 2021. This action will make area residents safer and more secure. 

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News Release | Environment America

1100 Health professionals urge President-elect Trump to act on climate

Washington, D.C. - Today, 1100 doctors, nurses, medical students, and other health professionals joined Environment America to issue a letter to President-elect Trump calling on him to take climate action to protect public health.

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News Release | Environment America

On the One-Year Anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, U.S. Mayors call on President-elect Trump to Keep Commitment

Today, on the one-year anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, Environment America joined with mayors from Orlando, FL, Fayetteville, AR, and Philadelphia, PA to release a statement to President-elect Donald Trump. They urged the president-elect to keep America’s commitment to the historic accord and maintain the country’s role as a global climate leader. 

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News Release | Environment America

“Americans need an EPA administrator who will fight to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the planet we love. Scott Pruitt fails on all these accounts.” -- Margie Alt, Environment America

Washington, D.C. -- According to press reports, President-elect Trump has chosen Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Environment America’s Executive Director, Margie Alt, issued the following statement in response:

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