Get Virginia Off Oil
The environmental costs of our oil dependence are out of control — from the accidents and spills, to smog, to climate change. It's time to set this country on a path to getting off oil for good. We can get there by convincing our leaders to make new investments in fuel-efficient cars, new technology, and a first-class system of public transportation.
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 ExxonMobil 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 Virginia made encouraging inroads in our effort to break America'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 fuel economy standards that will make 54.5-mpg 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 Virginia 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 could be the most important policy ever enacted to reduce our oil dependence and global warming pollution. However, small changes can also add up to a big difference.
Urge President Obama to finish the job on clean cars.
- The 54.5 miles per gallon standard would result in Americans saving $101 billion at the gas pump in 2030 and cut annual oil use by 44 billion gallons by 2025.
- The new mileage standard will cut annual emissions of global warming pollution by as much as 280 million metric tons by 2030.
- Increasing our transit capacity by 10% annually, we can reduce transportation-related global warming emissions 40% by 2030.