Cleaner, Cheaper and Faster: Why Efficiency Beats Drilling
With oil prices back above $100 per barrel and gasoline prices rapidly jumping up in the last two weeks, drivers are feeling the pain at the pump and unease about the future. While some in Washington advocate drilling as the solution, there are better ways to provide stability for consumers and cut our oil dependence. By 2030, efficiency and other oil savings measures can save a total of 8 times more oil than opening new areas to drilling off America’s shores or in protected sensitive areas.
The only real solution to protect consumers from high and volatile gas prices is to reduce our oil dependency through more efficient cars and trucks, clean fuels, and transportation choices such as commuter rail. Despite this, Republicans in the U.S. House are trying to prevent the adoption of strong standards by taking away EPA’s authority to set new pollution standards for cars and trucks.
Over the next two decades, we could cut our oil dependency by one-third, or about 7 million of barrels of oil each day. Conversely, drilling for new oil offshore the lower 48 states and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are projected to produce only about 1 million barrels per day in 2030. Moreover, even if we open up more areas tomorrow to drilling, it would be another 7 to 10 years before any oil flows from these new wells. In contrast, efficiency and other oil savings measures can start producing savings immediately. Cumulatively by 2030, we could save 8 times more oil than we could produce from drilling.