Environment Michigan Offers Real Solutions to End America’s Oil Dependence
ANN ARBOR—After a year in which America’s dependence on oil caused our nation’s largest environmental catastrophe, put billions of tons of pollution in our atmosphere, and undermined our economic and national security, the American Petroleum Institute (API) today proposed an energy plan that would further degrade our environment, endanger public health, boost Big Oil profits, and deepen our dependence on oil.
Environment Michigan’s Nicole Lowen released the following statement:
“Clearly, Big Oil’s New Year’s resolutions are: learn no lessons, admit no mistakes, and show no shame.
For most Americans, rising oil prices are a burden on our families and a threat to our environment. For Big Oil, rising oil prices due to surging international demand is ‘encouraging news.’
Big Oil’s recommendations are a threat to our climate, the air that we breathe, and the oceans that are critical resources for fisherman and people who work in the tourism industries across the country.
Having learned nothing from the disaster in the Gulf, Big Oil continues to call for the expansion of deep water drilling, which threatens our oceans and coastal communities nationwide. If there is another oil spill, however damaging, Big Oil does not believe they should be required to pay for it – their plan rails against increasing liability limits for oil spills.
To make matters worse, Big Oil’s trade association is calling for handouts to help them make even dirtier sources of fuel that produce more pollution and toxic waste, and will destroy even more critical wilderness areas.
Despite one of the warmest years in recorded history, Big Oil clearly believes that we should do nothing to stop the threat of global climate change. Oil companies are already responsible for more global warming pollution than any other energy source, but their plan would add over a million additional metric tons of CO2 per year. Their plan calls for the EPA to be stripped of their ability to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act, while the government helps them invest billions in fuels that produce even more carbon emissions.
Big Oil has proposed an energy plan that essentially is a request for more taxpayer money to harm our planet and gouge consumers. Moreover, these recommendations will do nothing to stop the real cause of rising oil prices, which is the explosion of global demand for oil.
The real solution to our oil crisis is a set of transportation policies that will make our vehicles more efficient, invest in new technologies like electric vehicles, and provide Americans with clean alternatives like public transportation.
Last October, the Obama administration took a strong first step toward cutting our oil dependence by beginning to develop new fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2017 through 2025. The administration announced that the clean car technologies exist to make the average car and light truck go 60 miles on a gallon of gas by 2025, which is the fleet-wide average that Environment America and other groups have been urging the administration to adopt.
Reaching 60 miles per gallon would result in Michiganders saving $2.6 billion at the gas pump in 2030 and cut annual oil use by 1.2 billion gallons in that year, according to research by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The Obama administration should reject the oil industry’s policy of drill, spill and send consumers the bill, and seize this historic opportunity to reduce our dependence on oil and save Americans money at the gas pump, by proposing a serious and comprehensive plan to end our dependence on oil.”