Maine’s Republican-controlled state legislature passed a law this summer which requires the state to reduce its oil use by 30 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050. Considering that Maine is ranked as the fourth most oil-dependent state by the Energy Information Administration, the passage of the law sends an important message to other states.
Efficiency Maine Trust, a non-profit group, will develop a plan to achieve the goals set in the law. The plan to reduce the state’s oil consumption must focus on near-term policies and infrastructure changes, according to the bill’s text. In addition, the plan must prioritize the improvement of energy efficiency and the transition to the use of alternative energy sources.
“Thankfully, Maine has many tools that we can use to reduce our dependence on oil — safeguarding not only our economy and our national security, but our environment as well,” said Emily Figdor, Environment Maine Director, who led the effort to pass the law. “By getting the most out of every drop of oil we use through improved energy efficiency, shifting toward transportation systems that use less oil, and by substituting clean fuels for both heating and transportation, Maine can achieve a dramatic reduction in our use of oil.”
According to a National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) blog post, the options Efficiency Maine Trust will consider are shifting freight from trucks to rail and marine transport, using more electric vehicles, weatherizing homes and offices, using more renewable sources for heating and offering rebates to consumers to retire old cars and trucks.
Environment America’s report, Getting Off Oil lays out a plan to reduce oil use. The U.S. could reduce its oil use for energy by 1.9 billion barrels of oil a year by 2030, according to the report. The policies needed to implement the plan, according to the report, include a 62 mpg fuel economy standard, energy efficient replacement tires for cars and light trucks, putting millions of plug-in electric vehicles on the road and doubling the use public transportation over the next 20 years.
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