The United States is reducing its dependency on oil as we now consuming 18.3 million barrels a day, down from our peak of 21 million barrels a few years ago. Record use of public transit is a major. According to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation in 2011, the second highest annual ridership since 1957.
Iran stopped shipping oil to the United Kingdom and to France. Global oil prices shot-up and we pay more at the pump. Fortunately, oil consumption has peaked in the USA for the 10 reasons that follow. Over 96 percent of our transportation fuel comes from oil refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. To protect our security and national leadership, Americans are taking 10 actions that are reducing our need for oil, not increasing the demand.
You can make a difference. The first chapters of Save Gas, Save the Planet will help you consider what you want in your next car. There are also many ways to reduce miles and improve fuel economy with your current car. Your actions and your words will influence more people than you expect. None of these are all-or-nothing ideas. Consider realistic improvements for yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.
We want to believe in magic but unfortunately, there is no one magical solution. Save Gas, Save the Planet captures over 120 different ways that people are making a difference by riding clean, riding together, and riding less. As you read Save Gas, Save the Planet, you will discover a number of ways to burn less fuel without needing a new car. When, and if, you are ready for a new car, you will make a better choice.
This excerpt from the book Save Gas, Save the Planet begins with the delights of a car free vacation. When fuel prices rocket; then fuel demand tanks. People are getting clever about getting around. They are rethinking their relationship with their cars, trucks, and SUVs.
My ninth trip to teach a workshop at Two World Trade Center never happened because of the great tragedy 9/11. On September 11, 2001, thanks to heroes like Avel Villanueva the hundreds of people working for Sun Microsystems in Two World Trade Center all quickly evacuated the building and survived. “Please, with calmness, go to the nearest exit. This is not a drill. Get out.” Only after several pages and inspecting the vast 25th and 26th floors did Avel personally leave. Three minutes later the second plane hit Two World Trade Center.
Globally, more people own bikes than own cars, trucks and SUVs combined. Over one billion people own bikes. Fifty-seven million United States citizens ride a bicycle, at least, on occasion. For most of us the pace is gentle as we enjoy exercise and fresh air. For some of us, the bicycle is a practical part of our commuting and reaching other destinations.
Last year, Americans drove 100 billion miles less than the year before. They also used public transit and participated in commute programs in record numbers. Regional transportation plans have the opportunity to accelerate these trends and help people cost-effectively meet their transportation needs. In 2035, 9 million people will be more efficient and less stressed in traveling the San Francisco Bay Area if all goes according to plan. Transportation 2035 is one of the nation’s first regional transportation plans to make reducing carbon emissions integral to such a plan. This regional plan will accommodate a 26 percent population increase compared to 1990, improve their transportation, while reducing CO2 emissions by 14 percent compared to 1990.
Enlightened communities are in the transition from being car-centric to being people-centric. Homes, public transportation, and businesses that serve neighborhoods are designed in close proximity. A people-oriented development often has a rapid transit station at its center, or at least a bus stop that is frequently served. Nearest to the station are higher density apartments and condos. Streets are alive with people and convenient shops. A short walk from the station is less density and single family homes.