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 Research & Policy Center

Report: transportation without carbon pollution is necessary and achievable

Washington, DC —From electric vehicles, to carsharing, to smartphone apps to plan travel, a variety of new tools can help make transportation systems in our cities carbon-free, a new report said today.

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Blog Post

We are asking for big change | Katie Hammer

Global warming is taking its toll on people and the environment around the world. Here in the U.S., we see more extreme weather like heat waves, droughts, floods, and bad air days because of global warming. We know that to avoid catastrophe and meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, the US will need to cut overall global warming pollution by more than 80 percent by mid-century.

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

A New Way Forward

America has made progress in cutting pollution from cars and trucks over the last decade as a result of improved vehicle fuel economy and slower growth in driving. But eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our urban transportation systems is going to require more than incremental change – it will require transformation. 

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News Release | Environment America

Praise for U.S - Nordic agreement on climate, the Arctic

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. joined Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden in a robust collaboration to protect the fragile Arctic region and implement the Paris Agreement; reinforcing commitments to curb methane emissions, cut aviation pollution, and deploy clean energy projects, among other measures.

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News Release | Environment America

Methane rules a step forward, but short of what's needed

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today the Obama administration issued final rules controlling new oil and gas emissions of methane - the greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide. Drilling and fracking operations are the single largest source of the pollutant, which accounts for a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas pollution.

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