Maine is fourth most oil-dependent state in the country

Maine is dangerously addicted to oil. We’re the fourth most oil-dependent state in the nation, because we use oil both to power our cars and trucks, and to heat our homes and businesses. Our oil dependence takes a tremendous toll on our environment, polluting our air and water, fueling global warming, and so much more. 

Oil is Maine’s largest in-state source of air pollution, and the state suffers from unacceptably high levels of air pollution. Every county in Maine except Oxford County has received a grade of C or worse from the American Lung Association for high levels of smog pollution. This pollution triggers asthma attacks and other health problems, and Maine has among the highest rates of childhood asthma in the nation.

Maine’s oil dependence is also a huge drain on our economy. According to the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security, for every $1 increase in a gallon of oil — a price increase we saw over the past year — Maine’s economy loses the equivalent of $1 billion.

The good news is that we have the technology today to take the first steps away from oil. We can improve the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses, move people and goods more efficiently, and transition to sustainable substitutes for oil.

Of course, to get there, the first step is for our state to have concrete goals to reduce our oil use, a plan to make it happen, and the support of our leaders. And in 2011, we accomplished that much.

Environment Maine passes groundbreaking law to get off oil

In June 2011, a bill to reduce Maine’s dependence on oil became law without Gov. LePage’s signature. The bill, spearheaded by Environment Maine, sets ambitious goals to cut Maine’s oil use 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050. It also requires the state to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve the goals.

In October 2011, Environment Maine released a strategy to help us achieve those goals. The first-of-its-kind report found that Maine could reduce its oil consumption nearly 40% by 2030 through steps that include:

  • Deploying electric vehicles (78 million gallons saved in 2030)
  • Strong fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks (70 million gallons saved), and heavy-duty vehicles (45 million gallons saved)
  • Retrofitting commercial buildings (48 million gallons saved)
  • Retrofitting homes (19 million gallons saved)
  • Energy-efficient residential building codes (6 million gallons saved)

Click here to read the full report, Getting Off Oil: A Roadmap for Curbing Our Dependence on Petroleum.

 


Get Off Oil Updates

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Canadian firm may ask to send tar sands oil through region

A Maine environmental group says a Canadian company is seeking to reverse the flow of a major trans-Canada oil pipeline, potentially bringing so-called tar sands oil to New England for export.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Pipeline Application Means “Dirtiest Oil on the Planet” Is Headed to New England’s Doorstep

Canada’s mega-oil pipeline company Enbridge filed an application today to move forward on the reversal of its Line 9 pipeline, likely bringing tar sands oil eastward to Montreal.  If approved, this would open the door to bringing the corrosive tar sands through Ontario, Quebec, and New England for export.  

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New Enbridge Spill Near Chicago Continues Company's "Pattern of Failures"

Enbridge was forced to shut down one of its pipelines last week after 900 barrels of crude oil leaked at the Mokena tank farm near Chicago. 

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Will the New England ski season fall short again?

Used to be, New England winters were big snow years or low snow years — but never no snow years. The New England skier was not raised to consider snow an unreliable occurrence.

But after a winter with little more than trace amounts of snow, which followed a winter of record snowfalls, it is hard to have clear expectations as ski season begins.

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Headline

Maine ripe for energy-efficiency savings, study says

Maine homes and businesses could trim their overall electricity consumption by 16 percent over the next decade by installing more-efficient lights, equipment and appliances, a new study for Efficiency Maine Trust has concluded.

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