Driving our oil addiction

With rising global demand and instability in the Middle East pushing prices ever higher, oil dependence takes an enormous bite out of our paychecks and our economy. But the prices that we pay with our wallets are only a fraction of the true costs of our addiction to oil.  

We pay for it with our lungs, every time we breathe in toxic chemicals released from burning oil. And we pay for it when we suffer through the worsening effects of global warming, from rising sea levels to more extreme weather.

We also pay for our oil with our beaches, coasts and oceans. In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster dumped 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and contaminated thousands of miles of coastline. And in 2011, an Exxon Mobil pipeline spilled 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River, which runs through the National Park.

Thankfully, a solution is in sight.

Charging forward with electric cars

To break our addiction to oil, we urgently need to transition to clean and electric cars.

But there's good news: Prompted by state action that we helped make happen, the U.S. is making enormous strides toward cars and trucks that use less gas and pollute less. Now it’s time to take the next step and once again, we can lead the way.

Our leaders have a huge opportunity to shift Washington away from oil by passing a zero emissisions vehicle (ZEV) standard.

By setting a zero ZEV standard, Washington could put more than 30,000 electric vehicles on the road over the next 12 years, taking a huge chunk out of global warming emissions and air pollution from burning oil.

A ZEV standard would cut 200,000 barrels of oil and fight global warming. On our current energy grid, this would cut over 55,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and if we charged these cars with renewable energy, like solar, we could cut even more: close to 140,000 metric tons of global warming pollution. The result will be cleaner air, a safer climate, and a more prosperous economy for all Washington families.

But we can only convince our leaders in Olympia to act if we show them overwhelming support for clean cars.

Special interests stand in the way

The oil industry and auto manufacturers are fighting this program and working to prevent us from moving to a clean transportation system. By speaking out, we can overcome this opposition and get thousands of clean cars on the road by 2025.

Get off oil updates

Blog Post

We are asking for big change | Katie Hammer

Global warming is taking its toll on people and the environment around the world. Here in the U.S., we see more extreme weather like heat waves, droughts, floods, and bad air days because of global warming. We know that to avoid catastrophe and meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, the US will need to cut overall global warming pollution by more than 80 percent by mid-century.

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

A New Way Forward

America has made progress in cutting pollution from cars and trucks over the last decade as a result of improved vehicle fuel economy and slower growth in driving. But eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our urban transportation systems is going to require more than incremental change – it will require transformation. 

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Blog Post

This Earth Day, climate action takes a big step forward! | Katie Hammer

April 22 is a big day for climate action! This Earth Day marks the historical event when more than 150 countries will come together to sign the first-ever legally binding global climate deal -- The Paris Climate Agreement.

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Blog Post

Great Barrier Reef scientist: “And then we wept.” | Katie Hammer

Professor Hughes recalls his reaction to finding that 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral is bleached: “And then we wept.”

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News Release | Environment Washington

Paris agreement great news for Washington’s environment

Here is Environment Washington's statement on the Paris Agreement.

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