Oil Addiction: Gas Price Spikes Threaten Americans' Wallets

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Rocky Kistner, NRDC, 202-289-2419, rkistner@nrdc.org;
Michael Oko, NRDC, 202-513-6245, moko@nrdc.org

Oil Addiction: Gas Price Spikes Threaten Americans' Wallets

New Analysis Shows States Most Dependent Upon Oil for Transportation Would Be Hardest Hit by Price Shocks

WASHINGTON - As many energy experts are predicting
that gas prices will rise nationally to more than $3 per gallon this
spring, a new study shows the heavy toll these spikes would have on
Americans' wallets. The economic white paper, "Ranking States Oil
Vulnerability: Assessing the Continued Threat of Gas Price Spikes,"
examines the impact of a gas price spike similar to the summer of 2008
in states across the country.

The data reveals that
drivers in all states are dependent on oil for their transportation
needs, but some states are more vulnerable to oil price increases than
others. Drivers in the most vulnerable states will be particularly hard
hit in the event of another spike in the price of gasoline, which is
one of the economic risks Americans face due to the country's
dependence on oil.

"Our ongoing oil addiction is
draining our wallets and our economy, and rising gas prices will only
add to this burden," said Deron Lovaas, transportation expert at the
Natural Resources Defense Council. "That's why we need to move forward
with clean energy and climate solutions that will not only strengthen
our national security and our environment, but will also help
revitalize our economy."

Even without an oil price shock, there is a major gulf between the nation's 10 most vulnerable states and the 10 least vulnerable. The 10 most
vulnerable states are (from most to least): Mississippi, Montana,
Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, Maine, Georgia
and Idaho. The 10 least vulnerable states are (from most to
least): Florida, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Colorado, New
Hampshire, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut (least
vulnerable). (See the full report with a complete list of states' data:
http://docs.nrdc.org/energy/files/ene_10031601a.pdf.)

"The
impacts of gasoline prices in the midst of a struggling economy make it
clear that our country needs to reduce its dependence on oil," said
Elizabeth Hogan, analyst at David Gardiner and Associates and the
author of the report. "By promoting more efficient vehicles, clean
fuels, smart growth, and public transportation, our government can put
an end to our unhealthy addiction that pinches our wallets and
threatens our national security and the environment."

In
order to cut America's dependence on oil and help reduce the risk of
oil and gas price spikes, the report recommends the following policies
for the U.S. Congress:

  • Pass
    comprehensive climate and energy legislation that limits carbon dioxide
    emissions, helps us break our oil addiction, and helps create millions
    of clean energy jobs here in the United States; and
  • Fundamentally
    reform federal transportation policy to support smart, transit-oriented
    development; assist states and regions in saving oil; and provide ample
    funding for energy-efficient transportation alternatives including rail
    and bus lines, bike paths, sidewalks, and other alternatives to driving.

For the full report, go to: http://docs.nrdc.org/energy/files/ene_10031601a.pdf.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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