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 New York 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

Last summer, in the wake of the Yellowstone spill, our staff and allies got straight to work, mobilizing 10,000 people to voice their support for cleaner cars that use less oil.

The Obama administration responded by announcing two big steps toward getting America off oil:

  • The administration announced new clean car standards equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon that will make super-efficient cars the norm by 2025. This is the single biggest step ever taken to reduce oil consumption and global warming pollution.
  • The Obama administration also announced the first-ever standard for trucks, which will save more than 20 billion gallons of gasoline by 2018.

In the weeks and months ahead, Environment New York will continue its work to push these new standards past the finish line.

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, join our campaign by urging the Obama administration to finish the job for cleaner cars.


Get Off Oil Updates

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Report | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

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