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As Gas Prices Rise, Consumers Face Increased Threat of Oil Dependency
New analysis shows state-by-state ranking of oil vulnerability

WASHINGTON (August 11, 2009) -- Rising gas prices, combined with the economic downturn are making people more vulnerable to changes in oil prices, according to new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The report also shows that many states are taking significant steps to reduce oil dependence through smart clean-transportation policies.

"Especially with today’s economic challenges, Americans face a growing threat from our nation’s dangerous addiction to oil,” said Deron Lovaas, NRDC’s transportation policy director. “This report shows how important it is for states to promote clean energy policies that will reduce our dependence on oil, while also reducing global warming pollution."

The report, "Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States' Oil Vulnerability and Solutions for Change,” provides a detailed look at how oil prices impact consumers and ways in which smart policies can help break states’ addiction to oil.

According to the report, the top 10 states most vulnerable to oil price increases are: #1 Mississippi; #2 Montana; #3 South Carolina; #4 Oklahoma; #5 Louisiana; #6 Kentucky, #7 Texas; #8 New Mexico; #9 Georgia; and #10 Arkansas.

The top 10 states that are doing the most to promote clean energy technologies and reduce their dependence on oil are: #1California; #2 Massachusetts; #3 Washington; #4 New Mexico; #5 Connecticut; #6 New York; #7 New Jersey; #8 Pennsylvania; #9 Oregon; and #10 Florida. 

The report focuses on two important factors that relate to the nation’s addiction to oil. First, it calculates oil vulnerability -- how heavily each state’s drivers are affected by increases in oil prices. Second, it ranks states on their adoption of solutions to reduce their oil dependence -- measures they are taking to lessen their vulnerability and to bolster America’s security.

The report also shows that by promoting clean vehicle and fuel technologies as well as transportation alternatives states can reduce oil dependence. These measures can, in turn, create clean energy jobs, reduce vulnerability to fuel price hikes, and lessen air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Lovaas added, “The Federal government can step in to help states break their addiction to oil by implementing comprehensive clean energy and climate policies and by reforming our national transportation system through an overhauled, performance-driven transportation policy.

The full report, with state-by-state rankings, can be accessed at: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/states/

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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