A comprehensive strategy to get off oil can reduce oil dependence in Oregon by 698 million gallons, according to a new report, “Getting Off Oil: A 50 State Roadmap to Curbing Our Dependence on Petroleum,” released today by Environment Oregon. The oil savings from clean transportation and energy in Oregon alone is more than one and a half times as much oil as we could get by expanding dangerous deepwater drilling throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. Senator Jeff Merkley joined the call to reduce oil consumption.
“It is time to declare our independence from oil,” said John Cross, Transportation Advocate at Environment Oregon.
“The cost of our oil dependence has grown out of control, from the outrageous prices we pay at the pump, to the pollution of the air that our families breathe and the warming of our climate, to catastrophic accidents like the Gulf Oil Spill last year and the spill on the Yellowstone River last week. Today’s report shows how we can get Oregon and the country closer to the day when we will no longer fear the impact of Big Oil on our economy, our environment and our public health.”
Recently, Senator Merkley, alongside Senators Tom Carper, Tom Udall and Michael Bennet, introduced the “Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act,” a prime example of the plans to reduce oil consumption that Environment Oregon is calling for at both the state and federal levels.
"Our dependence on oil poses dangerous risks to our economy, our environment and our national security,” said Senator Merkley. “We need a national conversation about how to reduce our dependence on oil to make us more self-sufficient and create good paying jobs here at home. Environment Oregon is playing an important role in this conversation and I appreciate the thoughtful analysis and policy recommendations they are putting forward."
The policies recommended in the report include setting fuel efficiency standards that make 60-mpg cars the norm by 2025, doubling access to public transportation, and enacting policies to encourage telecommuting, smart growth, and biking and walking.
“A hundred years of energy and transportation policies that favor Big Oil have made our country deeply dependent on their dirty and dangerous product,” said Cross. “Breaking their grip over our country is going to take time and the sustained commitment of policymakers and advocates, which is why we need to start now.
“Oregonians understand the importance of getting off oil. Working together, we can put this country on the path to independence from oil and create a country that is cleaner, stronger, and healthier than ever before.”