Sustainable America Blog

Obama’s Plan to Curb US Oil Addiction

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President Barack Obama addressed climate change and America’s addiction to oil head-on in a speech this past Tuesday by pledging to curb carbon emissions while beefing up programs to increase fuel efficiency and renewable forms of energy.

The full text of The President’s Climate Change Action Plan can be found here. In it, he lays out a multi-pronged attack on an area that has proved very difficult to reform by creating a series of policies that affect government and business, including a mandate to the EPA to limit carbon emissions from existing coal and gas-fired utilities by no later than 2014.

Also included in the plan are increased fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks beyond 2018 and a clean energy initiative that will increase the sources of clean energy in America to help reduce oil dependance. Obama stated his support for natural gas as a bridge fuel to reduce our oil dependence and nuclear power as a alternative source of energy.

Sustainable America’s goal is a 50% reduction in oil usage in America by 2035. Though it will require a lot of challenging follow-through, we see these initiatives to curb oil use as a step in the right direction for America’s energy independence.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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