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

President Obama steps forward to protect Bristol Bay from oil and gas exploration

On Tuesday, President Obama announced that he will protect a key part of America’s natural heritage and one of the world's largest salmon runs in Bristol Bay, Alaska from the devastating impacts of oil and gas drilling.  Aaron Weil, conservation advocate with Environment America, issued the following statement in response.

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News Release | Environment America

CRomnibus first volley in fight against environmental protections

Washington, DC -- Last night the U.S. House narrowly approved a must-pass spending bill that is expected to clear the Senate today. The measure erodes protections under the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act, and cuts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's budget by $60 million, resulting in the lowest staffing levels for the agency since 1989, according to the Washington Post

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News Release | Environment America

Senators and advocates: Wind energy could slow global warming, but tax credits needed

Expanding wind power across the country could cut as much global warming pollution as 254 coal plants produce in a year, according to a new report, but Congressional action is needed to make that expansion a reality, clean energy advocates said today.

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

More Wind, Less Warming

Power plants are the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. By implementing policies that increase the production of wind energy, both on- and offshore, America can help put the nation – and the world – on a course to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.

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News Release | Environment America

Clean air groups deliver eight millionth comment supporting cleaning up power plants

Washington, DC -- As the public comment period on the Clean Power Plan came to a close today, Environment America, representing national groups supporting climate action, hand delivered the “8 millionth” comment supporting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. Since early 2012, an array of public health, faith, and environmental groups, have collected approximately 8 million comments from among the majority of Americans who support clean energy and carbon pollution limits for power plants. 

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