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

“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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News Release | Environment America

EPA moves full speed ahead on clean cars

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that automakers can and must continue to make cars and trucks go increasingly further on a gallon of gas and emit less pollution. The proposed determination on the greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles keeps America’s vehicles on track to double fuel efficiency by 2025 which is both feasible and affordable according to the administration’s technical assessment report released this summer. 

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News Release | Environment America

Northeast States Must Take Stronger Action Against Pollution

BOSTON – Today, representatives of nine states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are meeting to discuss taking stronger action to cut global warming pollution. These states, part of a regional program that limits pollution from power plants called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, are preparing to make a decision about how much to cut pollution from 2020 to 2030. Environment America and a broad coalition are urging the states to be more ambitious.

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News Release | Environment America

New U.S. Climate Plan Sets a Course Toward Clean Energy

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, as international negotiators discuss approaches to limit global warming at climate talks in Morocco, the United States announced a long-term goal for reducing pollution. The goal, and an accompanying plan for how to achieve it, would set the United States on a course to reduce global warming pollution at least 80 percent below 2005 levels by mid-century.

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Blog Post

Imagine a future with zero-carbon transportation... | Katie Hammer

Transportation is now America’s leading source of carbon dioxide pollution, having surpassed power plants. As a nation, we produce more transportation-related carbon pollution per person than any other country.

Today, partnering with Frontier Group, we are releasing a new report to tackle this problem head on, highlighting 50 steps we can take to adopt a carbon-free transportation system.

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