Environmental Issues > Energy Main Page > All Energy Documents

Once again, high gas prices are draining our wallets and making us crazy.

What to do?

  • We've drilled, baby, we've drilled. We're now drilling more in this country than we have in nearly a decade.
  • We've given tax breaks and other wasteful incentives to oil companies to try and ease our pain at the pump. We now give about $4 billion in tax breaks to the oil and gas industry each and every year.
  • We've listened to naysayers tell us that pursuing clean energy alternatives to oil and gas is a waste of our time and money. Now, the United States is lagging much of the rest of the world on clean energy.

And what have we gotten in return?

Gas prices that are hitting new highs, an economy held hostage to global instability and an oil industry monopoly on our transportation system.

There's nothing we can do to control the price of gas in America, because oil prices are set on a global marketplace. As we've seen, more drilling certainly isn't the answer, because that's done nothing to reduce prices at the pump. The only thing more drilling has done is increase profits for oil companies – to the tune of $137 billion last year alone, a 75 percent rise since the year before. Who else got a 75 percent raise in the middle of a recession?

The fact is, the only way we can reduce how much we spend on gasoline is to reduce how much gasoline we use.

We Need More Choice In Transportation

Our fundamental problem surrounding gas prices is a lack of choice.

Right now, with few exceptions, we must all fill our cars with gasoline. If we don't like it, too bad.

Right now the average U.S. household buys more than 1,100 gallons of gas per year. At $4 per gallon, that means the average household spends $4,400 per year just on gasoline

More efficient vehicles could help dramatically. Hybrid vehicles can cost about half as much to operate as conventional vehicles. New fuel economy standards that take effect this year can deliver thousands of dollars in gas savings to Americans who can afford new cars. By 2025, the new 54.5 miles per gallon fuel standard will save consumers $4,400 over the lifetime of their vehicle. By 2030, the United States could save $200 billion as a result of the new standards.

New choices for fuel can help too. Electric vehicles now on the market, for example, can cost the equivalent of $1 per gallon at today’s average electricity prices.

Americans who have the choice of walking, biking, taking public transportation, or telecommuting to work can skip trips to the gas pump altogether. According to a new report, switching to public transportation would save the average driver a whopping $10,120 a year.

Here's the problem though: Not all Americans have these choices. Many of us have no other choice than to drive to work, and pay out the nose for gasoline to do it.

We Need Policies That Give Americans More Transportation Choices

Instead of continuing to give tax breaks to oil companies, why not channel that money to consumers to help buy more efficient vehicles or to fund research to build even better vehicles?

Instead of cutting public transit funding, why not invest in mass transit to make it more accessible to more Americans?

Instead of keeping ourselves captive to a single fuel choice -- oil -- why not help give Americans more choices, with policies that support vehicles that run on electricity or cellulosic biofuels that don't deplete food stocks or degrade the environment.

Instead of eliminate programs that encourage biking, walking and sustainable real estate development, why not do more to foster these gas-saving alternatives?

Watch the video below for more background on how to break the oil industry's monopoly on our transportation system -- and how we can fuel our future beyond oil.



last revised 3/30/2011

All Tags [ View Popular Tags ]:
60mpg
AB 1493
AB 32
agriculture
air pollution
air toxics
alabama
algae
AliyaHaq
alternative fuels
AnthonySwift
Appalachia
appliances
Arctic
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
asthma
automakers
aviation
beaches
biochar
biodiesel
biofuels
biogas
biomass
birds
boreal forest
BrianSiu
budget
CaiSteger
California
California environmental legislation
Canada
cap 2.0
cap and trade
carbon footprint
carbon offsets
carbon pollution
cars
case studies
causes of global warming
CCS
CFLs
Chile
china
CHP
Clean air
Clean Air Act
clean energy
clean energy economy
clean power plan
clean vehicles
climate
climate change
climate legislation
clothes dryers
cloud computing
coal
coal-fired power plants
compact fluorescent lighting
compact fluorescents
computer equipment
Congress
consumer products
coral
cover crop
CPS
DabbieHammel
Danielle Droitsch
DanielleDroitsch
data centers
DebbieHammel
deforestation
DerekMurrow
DevraWang
DianeBailey
diesel
diesel buses
diesel exhaust
dirty fuels
dod
dolphins
drilling
economy
efficiency
efficient light bulbs
efficient vehicles
electric cars
electric utilities
electric vehicles
electricity
electricity and natural gas utlities
ElizabethShope
emissions
energy efficiency
energy efficiency standard
energy efficient buildings
energy efficient light bulbs
energy effiency
energy policy
energy security
energyappropriations
energyapprops
energy-efficient bulbs
environmental history
environmental protection agency
EPA
ethanol
finance
fish & fishing
FL
florida
Forests
fracking
fracking risks
FranzMetzner
fuel
fuel economy
fuel efficiency
fuel efficiency standards
fuel savings
gas drilling
gas prices
gasoline
gis
global warming
global warming and the economy
global warming emissions
global warming legislation
global warming pollution
globalwarming
green building
green buildings
green business
green jobs
green sports
greenhouse gas emissions
Gulf
gulf of mexico
gulfofmexico
gulfspill
halogen bulbs
halogen lightbulbs
health
health effects
home energy
home networks
household energy use
HUD
human health
Hurricane Katrina
hybrid
hybrid electric vehicles
hybrid vehicles
hybrids
hydraulic fractring
hydraulic fracturing
hydrogen
incandescent lighbulbs
incandescent light bulbs
India
India Initiative
indoor air quality
infrastructure efficiency
interiorappropriations
interiorapprops
JacksonMorris
jobs
KatharineMcCormick
keystone
Keystone XL
Kids' Health
KXL
Latin America
LCFS
lead
LEDs
light
light bulbs
light emitting diodes
liquid coal
livestock farms
location efficiency
Los Angeles
louisiana
LukeTonachel
mapping
Marcellus Shale
Massachusetts
mercury
methane
Mexico
mid-Atlantic
mining
MiriamRotkinEllman
mississippi
Missouri
Montana
mountains
mountaintop removal mining
mtr
natural gas
natural gas drilling
NEPA
New York
nitrogen oxides
NoahHorowitz
North Dakota
Northeast states
nrdc offices
nuclear energy
oceans
offshore
offshore drilling
offshore oil
ohio
oil
oil and gas industry
oil drilling
oil shale
oil spill
oil spills
oilspill
open space
ozone
particulate pollution
PatRemick
pennsylvania
photos
PierreDelforge
pipeline
policy
pollution
power plants
PTC
public lands
public transportation
rail
RalphCavanaugh
refrigerants
regional greenhouse gas initiative
regulatory reform
renewable energy
renewable fuel
renewables
residential small networks
respiratory illness
RGGI
riders
Rocky Mountains
RPS
SamanthaWilliams
SashaLyuste
SashaStashwick
SB 315
schools
server rooms
servers
shell
SierraMartinez
smart biomass
smart grid
smart growth
smog
smog air pollution
solar
solar power
solutions
soot
Southeast
StarlaYeh
sulfur dioxide
SusanCasey-Lefkowitz
sustainable sourcing
TanjaSrebotnjak
tar sands
tar sands pipeline
tar sands; keystone xl
tax incentives
tax subsidies
television
tennessee
texas
toxic waste
trailbreaker
transit
transportation
transportation bill
trasnportation
tv
tvs
utilities
VEETC
vehicle
vehicle emissions
vehicles
video game consoles
wastewater
water efficiency
Water Pollution
wetlands
whales
what you can do
wind
wind power
wind turbines

Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter

See the latest issue >

Give the Gift That Will Make a Difference: Renewable Reality

NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.


Donate now >

Related Stories

Efficient Appliances Save Energy -- and Money
A consumer's guide to buying energy efficient appliances and electronics.
Share | |
Find NRDC on
YouTube