Hybrid Cars Newport RI
Fall River, MA
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East Greenwich, RI
N Dartmouth, MA
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Escaping the Oil Trap
Escaping the Oil Trap
Selflessness doesn’t just benefit recipients, but those on the giving side of the
By Eric Schneider
July August 2008
Our use of petroleum and fossil fuels is downright addicting, not to mention environmentally hazardous. Can we slip oil’s greasy grasp before it does us in? The health of the planet’s water and air hinges on finding an answer to what may be the most crucial question of our time.
Ouch! Filling up the tank costs from $60 to a wince-inducing $100 for bigger vehicles, and even fuel-efficient cars tend to rack up $40 to $50 receipts at the pump. With costs for regular unleaded fuel climbing above a staggering $4 per gallon at press time, frustrations with Big Oil have reached a new peak. Coupled with an interest in more environmentally friendly fuel options, this has prompted steady rumblings for oil independence to grow louder.
Becoming energy self-sufficient by weaning ourselves off of foreign oil is far from easy or direct. The United States consumes 20.5 million barrels of oil a day—roughly a quarter of world oil production—but produces only 5.1 million barrels per day. This means that to become oil independent, we need to reduce our oil consumption by 75%, observes Jonathan Dorn, PhD, MPP, staff researcher at the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, DC. This heavy reliance on foreign oil is deeply ingrained in both the economy and the energy industry. Even with considerable instability in regions that supply much of our petrol...