“Freedom From Oil” Campaign in Washington, D.C.

The recent BP oil spill was indeed a wake up call not only for us in America, but the entire world. One positive outcome of the disaster, it has made people around the world frighteningly aware of the dangers of offshore drilling. To create more awareness, Sierra Club just launched an interesting campaign in Washington, D.C. called “Freedom From Oil”.

As part of the initiative, 10,000 American flags were planted in the ground near the base of the Washington Monument spelling out the words “Freedom From Oil”. The flags were planted to bring to the attention of the president and Congress the public’s desire to move America beyond oil to a clean energy future in the next 20 years.

The Moving Beyond Oil Campaign offers specific recommendations including, setting an enforceable national goal for reducing oil consumption, moving to advanced technology vehicles with higher vehicle efficiency standards, investing in cleaner alternative biofuels, investing in transportation choices such as transit, biking, and walking, developing a freight system that shifts more goods to rail and ship, and creating energy efficient homes that utilize alternative fuels for heating.

According to the U.S. Energy Information System, 2008 Annual Energy Review, 95 percent of U.S. petroleum consumption is a function of the transportation sector. Cars and light trucks account for 60 percent of energy use in the sector, while more efficient trains and buses account for 3 percent.

Light duty vehicles account for 8.57 million barrels of the 19.42 million barrels of oil consumed in the United States per day. The Sierra Club recommends the deployment of electric vehicles, and the creation of a program to expand electric vehicle manufacturing, and offering incentives for consumers to buy more efficient vehicles.

Ending U.S. reliance on oil works in part with the Sierra Club’s Green Transportation plan to reduce transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and curb global warming. The campaign aims to reduce U.S. transportation CO2e emissions 35 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The percent reductions are from 2005 levels. The plan calls for setting aggressive national GHG emissions standards and increasing fuel economy for vehicles, creating a different land use policy, and supporting compact communities that require people to drive fewer miles.

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