Sierra Club Addresses U.S. Dependence on Oil
The Ohio Sierra Club released a joint report with the American Security Project entitled “Ending our Dependence on Oil”, which shows how America’s addiction to oil threatens our national security, our economy and our environment.
For the transportation of people, goods on freight truck, air travel, rail and transit, America uses nearly 400 million gallons of gasoline every day. This explains how of all the oil used in the United States, 70% is consumed by transportation.
In terms of national security, of the imported petroleum Americans consume, 68% is supplied by countries at “high risk” or “very high risk” for instability. Oil dependence gives leverage and money to potential adversaries, and exposes America to the risks of endless conflicts abroad to secure access to oil.
On the economic scale, Americans send over $1 billion abroad every day to pay for oil. This result is lost jobs and increasing dollars in the hands of foreigners upon whom we increasingly rely to finance our deficits.
National debt leads to the necessity of borrowing money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis, causing greater national debt and dependence on the goodwill of others to allow the American economy to function.
As for the environment, transportation is responsible for approximately one-third of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.
We burn about 400 million gallons of gasoline every day, releasing 19 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per gallon - over 7.2 billion pounds of carbon daily.
Americans burn through three gallons of oil per day per capita.
Sierra Club endorses the following solutions:
Invest in infrastructure that gives Americans safe and convenient alternatives to driving, such as public transit, high-speed rail, walking, bike share programs, and inter-modal transportation.
Improve the fuel economy of all vehicles manufactured in this country. Aggressively push for advanced technology vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles that can eliminate the need for oil entirely.
Develop the next generation of advanced biofuels, made from truly sustainable feedstocks, which can displace the need for oil and reduce emissions.