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

U.S. Senate passes bill to approve Keystone XL pipeline, accelerate global warming

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After three weeks of debate, the U.S. Senate passed a bill this afternoon to force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The measure passed 62 to 36, failing to garner enough votes to override a promised veto from President Obama. According to the State Department, building Keystone XL would add 26 million metric tons of carbon pollution to our atmosphere each year, the equivalent of putting another 5.7 million cars on the road. 

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Largest offshore wind area in U.S. goes on sale today

Washington, DC -- Today the U.S. Department of the Interior will auction an area about the size of Rhode Island to offshore wind developers, the largest such competitive lease sale ever in the United States. The area off the south coast of Massachusetts could house enough wind turbines to power 700,000 homes, and its sale triples the total area available for commercial offshore wind development in the United States. 

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News Release | Environment America

Obama administration to put large stretches of Atlantic coastline, beaches at risk

Washington, D.C. -- Today the Obama administration proposed opening up huge swaths of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling, putting large stretches of the nation’s coastline, including some of its most beloved beaches from Virginia to Georgia, at risk of a devastating spill. 

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News Release | Environment America

U.S. Senate votes to deny climate science

Washington, D.C. –- The U.S. Senate has officially denied the science of climate change, rejecting an amendment acknowledging that human activity contributes to global warming during today’s debate of the controversial Keystone pipeline bill.

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News Release | Environment America

Curbing methane emissions necessary band-aid, not a cure for global warming

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oil and gas industry emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas with more than 80 times the potency of carbon dioxide, will get new limits under a plan announced today by the White House. 

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