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

Report | Environment Maine Research & Policy Center

Inside the Big Oil Playbook

For the last decade, the world’s largest oil corporations have developed one of the most extensive industrial operations in the world: the extraction and processing of tar sands (natural bitumen) in northeastern Alberta, Canada. Tar sands oil (diluted bitumen) is more carbon intensive than conventional oil and nearly impossible to clean up when spilled into waterways. 

> Keep Reading
Headline

WMTW 8: South Portland considering new effort to ban tar sands

There's a renewed push to protect the city of South Portland from tar sands oil...

> Keep Reading
Headline

WCSH 6: South Portland considers latest effort to block tar sands

A large crowd turned out in South Portland Wednesday night to comment on a new crude oil ordinance that would keep tar sands oil out of the city...

> Keep Reading
Headline

Bangor Daily News: More than 200 people turn out to support proposed tar sands oil ban in South Portland

City councilors suggested no significant alterations Wednesday to proposed ordinance changes that would keep unrefined tar sands oil out of the city...

> Keep Reading
Headline

Portland Press Herald: Proposed tar sands ban gets standing ovation in South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND — The auditorium at Mahoney Middle School rocked Wednesday night with a standing ovation and cheers for a proposal that would block tar sands oil from coming into the city...

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed