Plug It In: Taking Control of Our Energy Future
As temperatures soar into the 90’s, beach outings, bbq’s, and pool parties are in full swing, but not without a significant cost. Families once again are experiencing pain at the pump caused by high and unpredictable gas prices. Drivers have to devote more and more of their incomes to filling up their cars, putting a strain on already tight budgets.
Our transportation sector is 95 percent dependent on oil which leaves us at the mercy of unpredictable spikes in gas prices and unfriendly or unstable countries who control many of the vast reserves of oil we rely on. As more and more consumers from countries like China and India enter the global marketplace and demand the very same luxuries we as Americans are privileged to, reserves will only be strained further. How will we cope with increasing demand but dwindling reserves? More drilling is NOT the answer.
The people of Montana are learning all too well the consequences of our rush to drill without giving safety considerations a second thought. Hauntingly similar to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the middle of the United States is now subject to another massive oil spill. On June 30th, an Exxon Mobil pipeline ruptured and spewed thousands of gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River. The situation is still far from contained and the extent of the damage is still not known.
Cheap oil is tapped out and what is left is in ever more dangerous sites and requires more destructive methods to extract. It is time we take control of our energy future and demand from our leaders REAL solutions to the energy crisis. We have the tools to cut our dependence on oil TODAY. Increased fuel efficiency, electric vehicles and investment in mass transit, not only sever our reliance on oil, but save Americans money and create jobs at home.
Check out NWF’s new resource, “Taking Control: Real Solutions to Rising Gas Prices,” which highlights that:
- Today we spend two-thirds of a trillion dollars a year on oil, half of it sent overseas.
- An electric or plug-in electric hybrid car frees American families from the gas pump altogether and enables them to fuel up at an outlet at home at a cost equivalent to less than $1/gallon.
- Americans overwhelmingly support a 60 mpg fuel economy standard – by a margin of nearly 2 to 1
- Federal investment of $40 billion on public transit and intercity rail would create 3.7 million direct and indirect jobs – 600,000 of those in the manufacturing sector alone.
- Oil companies receive approximately $4 billion a year in federal subsidies – money that could be invested to spur innovation and create American jobs.
The House Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill this week which includes a provision that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward on the next round of vehicle fuel efficiency standards.