Fighting Oil Addiction: August 2009

Issue Paper
August 19, 2009

Ranking States' Gasoline Price Vulnerability and Solutions for Change

America's addiction to oil continues to threaten not only our national security and global environmental health, but also our economic viability. NRDC analyzed how heavily drivers in each state are affected by increases in oil prices and ranked 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. NRDC found that rising gas prices, combined with the economic downturn, are making people more vulnerable to changes in oil prices. But many states are taking significant steps to reduce oil dependence through smart clean-transportation policies.

Our analysis shows that:

  • Oil dependence affects all states, but some drivers are hit harder economically than others.
  • The trends in states' vulnerability to oil price increases over the past couple of years are not encouraging -- drivers in every state were more vulnerable in 2008 than they were in 2006.
  • While some states are pioneering solutions and many are taking some action, a fair number of states are still taking few (if any) of the steps needed to reduce their oil dependence.

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.