Washington, DC - Today, Senators Jeff Merkley, Tom Carper and Tom Udall introduced the Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act. Environment Washington’s Federal Global Warming Program Director Nathan Willcox issued the following statement in response:
“The tragic events unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico have awakened the public to the dangers of America’s dependence on oil. Our oil consumption pollutes our air, endangers our climate, enriches our enemies, undermines our economic and national security, and is now responsible for the greatest environmental disaster in American history. It will take decades for the ecology and economy of the Gulf region to recover from the BP disaster. In the meantime, we must immediately enact the policies necessary to transition our economy away from oil dependence and towards a future of clean transportation.
“The bill introduced by Senators Merkley, Carper and Udall is the most ambitious and comprehensive effort to reduce America’s dependence on oil ever introduced in the United States Senate. Environment America applauds the bold leadership of these three Senators, and calls on the rest of the United States Senate to join these visionaries and pass this legislation.
“The most important aspect of this bill is an ambitious national oil savings goal of 8 million barrels per day of oil by 2030. That would be the equivalent of all the oil the United States gets from offshore drilling, from Canadian dirty fuels, and from the Middle East put together. Saving 8 million barrels per day of oil would reduce America’s emissions of global warming pollution by over a billion metric tons per year, the equivalent of 15% of our total national emissions.
“This bill will invest in the technology and the infrastructure that will create American jobs and ensure that the United States leads in producing the energy sources of the future. The bill will help inspire the next revolution in automobile technology, providing billions in funding for electric vehicle infrastructure and advanced battery technology. It will redirect transportation infrastructure spending towards projects that increase fuel efficiency and provide families and business with greater transportation choices. And it will ensure that the cars and trucks that we build today are built with the most efficient designs achievable. All these steps will create jobs, reduce the trade deficit, and save Americans billions of dollars in transportation costs.
“The Oil Independence for a Stronger America Act represents a critical investment in America’s future. Environment America looks forward to working with Senators Merkley, Udall and Carper to make this vision a reality for our nation.”
Environment Washington is a state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open space.