Addicted To Oil: Ranking States’ Vulnerability

A new NRDC report ranks U.S. states on their level of oil vulnerability measured by how heavily each state’s citizens are affected by increases in oil prices. States are also ranked on their implementation of solutions to reduce oil dependence. The report found that while oil dependence affects all states, some are hit harder economically than others. And while some states are pioneering solutions, many are taking little or no action. In fact, the report finds that about one-third of states are not taking any steps to reduce their dependence. From the NRDC report (via Car Free USA):

Generally, the most vulnerable states are in the South and the least vulnerable are in the Northeast. There is significant variation among states: Citizens in the most vulnerable state-Mississippi-spend an average of more than 6 percent of their per capita income on gasoline, while citizens in the least vulnerable state-Connecticut-spend about 2.5 percent of theirs, a 60 percent difference. When oil prices go up, citizens in vulnerable states are hit the hardest.

NRDC research shows that the 10 states doing the most to wean themselves from oil are California, Washington, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon, Maine, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts.

nrdc.jpg

In contrast, the 10 states doing the least to reduce their oil dependence are Wyoming, West Virginia, Mississippi, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, and Ohio. The failure of these states to take meaningful action to reduce oil dependence exacerbates the national security and environmental harms associated with our current transportation habits.

The entire report (pdf) is available here.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

A Progress Report on State-Level Oil Dependence

|
NRDC’s depiction of how hard states are hit by gas costs, ranked by percentage of income spent. America’s oil addiction is readily acknowledged, even by its biggest enablers. But what is the nation actually doing to kick the habit and embrace a safer, healthier, more realistic energy future?  An attempt to answer that question was […]

How Gas-Dependent Is Your State?

|
It’s no secret that higher gas prices are hitting American pocketbooks hard. To a remarkable extent, however, exactly how much pain Americans are experiencing is a function of where they live. A report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council details how geography impacts our vulnerability to gas price fluctuation. Fuel pump pressure is […]

“Drill Baby Drill” Won’t Solve America’s Energy Problems

|
House Republicans are calling for offshore oil drilling as an answer to foreign oil dependency and high gas prices — and they’re not the only ones. President Obama recently announced his intention to cut oil imports by one-third by 2025, partly by increasing domestic production was the answer to the country’s energy woes. In his speech announcing […]

Is Big Environment Ready to Say America Is Hooked on Cars?

|
The NRDC’s "Beyond Oil" campaign. Are national environmental groups ready to shift their strategy? Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal’s Joseph White, who covers the auto industry in his "Eyes on the Road" column, made a prediction that livable streets advocates will welcome. In the next year, he forecast, national environmental groups will re-focus […]