Driving Oil-Dependence Down

Lisa Margonelli, an ally in our work to move America beyond oil, penned this thoughful piece in the New York Times yesterday. Lisa travelled the world as part of her research for Oil on the Brain, a part-travelogue, part-analysis, and wholly readable book tracing petroleum's route from wellheads to U.S. gas tanks. In her piece, she explains that a moratorium on drilling may be necessary, but it's insufficient as a policy response given that negative effects would likely be pushed to other parts of the world.

She offers some ideas in a follow-up blog entry in the Atlantic Monthly, including a mention of my recent testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. I described to Senators an agenda for "mobility choice" that would deliver new travel options to U.S. consumers in order to save oil.

Congress can tackle transportation in both the clean energy bill being debated now, and in the transportation authorization bill which is past due for renewal. In fact, the U.S. DOT just unveiled an impressive analysis of the technical potential to reduce greenhouse gas pollution that doubles as a source of policy concepts for cutting oil dependence since transportation accounts for almost 70 percent of our oil use.

I urge policymakers to press forward, to help reduce oil dependence and therefore the chance of more disasters like the one unfolding in the Gulf right now.