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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State puts climate change planning on shelf; towns fend for themselves

A howling storm, tidal surge, downed power lines, beaches swept away, coastal residents evacuated.

Hurricane Sandy?

Yes, but it is also the story of the Patriots Day storm of 2007 along the southern Maine coast.

Experts say both storms are harbingers of yet more severe storms to come, made worse by the effects of a warming climate.

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Is Maine experiencing more 'extreme' precipitation?

According to a Maine-based environmental advocacy group, there is evidence that Maine has been experiencing warmer temperatures and more “extreme precipitation” events in recent years.

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5 Climate Hawks Who Won on Tuesday

Climate-minded voters were pleased to see President Obama reelected on Tuesday, and to hear him call out "the destructive power of a warming planet" in his victory speech. But they also scored some notable wins in state houses and Congress this year. Here are five "climate hawks" that will take office in 2013.

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News Release | Environment Maine

A Wake Up Call

Dozens of Americans are dead; thousands of homes have been damaged or lost; entire communities have been submerged under water; lives have been disrupted; the costs have been estimated to be as high as $50 billion. As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it, after Hurricane Sandy, "Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality." 

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News Release | Environment Maine

ExxonMobil is actually majority owner of Maine pipeline and behind plan to transport dangerous tar sands

A new analysis released today by NRDC, NWF and other environmental groups shows that ExxonMobil is the majority owner of the pipeline that cuts across Maine and New England—a pipeline that is the subject of an emerging proposal to transport tar sands. ExxonMobil’s Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil Limited, owns 76 percent of the pipeline, while Canadian oil giant Suncor Energy owns the remaining 24 percent. These companies are among the biggest developers of Canadian tar sands.  

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