By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranked No. 8 nationally for its solutions to oil dependency in a report released Thursday by the National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club.
The Ocean State earned top marks for its vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards, its low-carbon fuel standard and its growth management policies. It earned 1 of 2 points for its state fleet efficiency and its idling restrictions.
States placing in the Top 10 for their green solutions were, in order: California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont.
“Our oil dependence costs us more each day whether it’s the price at the pump, the dangerous pollution in our air or the risks we take with our waterways that result in tragedies such as last year’s BP oil spill disaster,” said Nicholas Oliver, conservation program coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Rhode Island Chapter.
“Rhode Island has made great strides to move beyond oil. However, we need the Obama Administration to step up and increase vehicle fuel efficiency standards to 60 miles per gallon by 2025,” he said. Rhode Island’s solutions to oil dependency were ranked: No. 4 in 2006, No. 14 in 2007, No. 12 in 2008 and No. 14 in 2009.
Rhode Island, when measuring how much residents spend of their income on gasoline, was among the least vulnerable, at No. 47, as residents spent 3.43 percent o their income, or $1,462, at the pumps in 2010. Through April 2011, the groups calculated the average R.I. driver spent 5.29 percent of his/her income on gas.
Connecticut was the most resistant, at No. 50, with New York and Massachusetts filling out the No. 49 and No. 48 spots, respectively.
The most-vulnerable states were: Mississippi, 7.23 percent, South Carolina, 6.31 percent, Kentucky, 6.13 percent, and Georgia, 5.81 percent.
According to the NRDC website’s “Facts About Oil,” the United States has enough proven oil reserves to last just three years, oil companies owned by foreign government control 90 percent of the world’s oil and that, by 2030, oil imports could be cut in half by investing in efficient vehicles, cleaner fuel and more transit options.
For the full report, “Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States’ Gasoline Price Vulnerability and Solutions for Change,” click here.