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What's at Stake
We can reduce our oil use. Scientists, engineers, and analysts have constructed a plan—Half the Oil—to cut U.S. oil use. Through smart policies and practices—including increased fuel efficiency, better biofuels, and advanced electric cars—we can realize the benefits of using less oil.
Progress is already being made. Fuel economy standards have made cars and trucks more efficient. Electric vehicles are becoming more widespread. And scientists are finding new ways to make our fuels cleaner—but more can be done.
Using less oil offers huge benefits. Cleaner transportation options will help create jobs, save money, and reduce global warming pollution.
Drilling for more oil isn’t the answer. Oil is as expensive and dangerous as ever before, and it’s the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions. We can do better.
We can Half the Oil. The United States can be a transportation leader. We have the technology, and we’ve seen the benefits: now we need action.
Meet Our Clean Vehicles Experts
Director, Clean Vehicles Program
Senior Engineer, Clean Vehicles Program
Senior Vehicles Engineer
Research and Deputy Director, Clean Vehicles Program
Senior Scientist, Clean Vehicles Program
Why Clean Cars?
America consumes more than 19 million barrels of oil every day. We burn most of it for transportation.
This prodigious oil use comes with significant costs to our climate, our health, and our pocketbooks—but clean vehicles can help.
Oil drives global warming
Our cars, trucks, airplanes, and ships account for nearly 30 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions and more than 5 percent of the world’s total global warming pollution.
This pollution directly contributes to sea level rise, more frequent and intense heat waves, and other costly impacts.
Learn more about cars and global warming >
It’s not just CO2: oil creates air pollution
Transportation is one of the U.S.’s largest sources of air pollution. In 2013, transportation contributed more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons emitted into our air.
All this pollution has serious implications for public health, including increased incidences of respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis.
Learn more about air pollution and public health >
Oil is expensive
A typical American driver spends almost as much on gas as they do on purchasing their vehicle. Collectively, we spend around 2 billion dollars on oil and petroleum products per day.
Drilling more isn’t the answer, either: so-called “new oil” is just as dirty, dangerous, and expensive as ever before. The real solution is to use less oil.
With the right policies, practices, and investments, we can make the United States a transportation leader—and cut projected U.S. oil use in half.
Increase fuel efficiency
Improving the fuel economy of our nation’s vehicles offers the single greatest opportunity for reducing oil consumption—and federal policy provides the most powerful tool for accomplishing it.
Learn more about improving U.S. fuel economy >
Produce better biofuels
Corn-based ethanol currently dominates the U.S. market, but cleaner options are available, including cellulosic fuels made from wood and grass. Investing in these and other non-food based biofuels could drastically reduce U.S. oil use.
Learn more about better biofuels >
Drive advanced vehicles
Hybrid, electric, and fuel-cell technologies are increasingly common and affordable, and offer long-term solutions for U.S. oil consumption.
Learn more about electric cars and trucks >
We can Half the Oil
Learn more about how Half the Oil works >
California has long been a clean vehicles leader. From forward-thinking electric vehicle policies, to pollution standards and clean fuel mandates, they’ve paved the way for both the federal government and other states. Still, more can be done, especially with freight.
Read more about vehicles in California and western states >