Getting Rid of the Rigs

Tapping the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil—which Congress forestalled—would hardly make a dent in the 8-million-barrel-a-day foreign oil addiction of the United States. Here are solutions that will.

1. Raise gas mileage standards of new vehicles to 40 mpg by 2012 and 55 mpg by 2020 (yes, even SUVs). Estimated oil savings by 2030: 8 million barrels a day.

2. Expand the use of renewable, non-petroleum fuels in gasoline, such as ethanol made from corn and bio-diesel made from soybeans. Estimated oil savings by 2030: 370,000 barrels a day.

3. Enact legislation with incentives and requirements for the production and purchase of fuel-cell vehicles, which are pollution- and oil-free. Estimated oil savings by 2030: 2.5 million barrels a day.

4. Encourage the "smart growth" of cities and suburbs instead of sprawl. Walk and become familiar with your bus driver! Estimated oil savings by 2030: 630,000 barrels a day.

From Dangerous Addiction: Ending America's Oil Dependence, by Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists, January 2002.

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 2002
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