Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to Use Less Oil Rants

Source: CNN

For those of you who don't follow the news, an off-shore oil drilling rig in the Gulf of México exploded and sank on April 20th, 2010 killing 11 crew members and causing a massive oil leak which has been ongoing ever since, causing horrific damage to the environment and the livelihoods of people in the Gulf Coast states. It's day 37, and there's no end in sight, unless you're very optimistic about the latest scheme to plug the holes.

Over on NPR I've been trying to make the point that we should use less oil in response to this and I've had a bunch of ideas, which I call "how to use less oil rants". I wrote so many, I started to number them after a while. Here the numbered ones are, either in full or summarized:

11) Write your city council person and demand that 5% of the parking spaces in your city be converted to bicycle racks.

12) If you're buying a car, check out ( for info on the most efficient cars, trucks, and SUVs in every category, all tested by the EPA using consistent methods.

13) Instead of driving to the gym, walk to the store.

14) Make sure your tires are properly inflated and take unused items out of your trunk.

15) Live in a neighborhood where destinations like grocery stores are within easy walking distance.

16) If you know someone in the army of lawyers who will be litigating these cases, encourage them to carpool. The litigation itself will probably use a ton of oil.

17) Employers should not buy parking places for their employees. Instead, they should use the money they spend on parking to pay extra cash to employees. When other people pay for parking, people drive more.

18) Pass a modest carbon tax and index it to inflation. This would give people an incentive to conserve while raising money to subsidize alternatives to gasoline-powered transportation.

19) Don't unveil an energy bill that includes expanded oil drilling . . .

20) Try your best to live close to the stuff you do.
30) I don't think boycotting a single oil company accomplishes anything. But permanently boycotting all oil companies or using less oil accomplishes a lot.

They all drill. Their products all cause air pollution. Their products all cause climate change. USE LESS OIL IN GENERAL.


  1. Great ideas. Also, fully fund our nation's buses and trains. There is money to build more stuff, but not run what we already have.

    You should give us a link to the discussion, so we can back you up.

  2. Thanks. I've been checking NPR's website ( for stories about the oil spill and every time I see one (there are so many!) I try to leave one comment with an idea for using less oil.