This latest report by the Sierra Club North Star Chapter documents the true cost of Minnesota’s oil addiction, and the solutions to solve the energy crisis in our state.
Importing foreign oil results in billions of dollars lost from Minnesota’s economy. In the past decade, Minnesotans have spent an average of $10 billion annually on oil. Every drop of oil we use is imported, most of which - over 80% - is the dirtiest and most destructive oil on Earth, mined from tar sands in Canada. Our dependence on foreign oil shackles us to the whims of the global market, and leaves Minnesotans vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices.
Minnesota is at a crossroads: We can continue to send billions of dollars out of our local economy each year or create clean energy jobs that strengthen our economy right here at home.
Oil use in Minnesota:
- In the past decade, Minnesotans have spent an average of $10 billion a year on oil - and we spent $15 billion in 2008 when oil prices spiked.
- 80% of Minnesota’s oil comes is Canadian tar sands oil, the dirtiest oil in the world. The extraction of tar sands oil generates three times more carbon emissions than traditional oil production.
- Minnesota does not have its own oil reserves or means to produce crude oil. We import every single drop of oil we consume.
An increase of fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg would:
- Save Minnesotans more than $3,500 at the pump over the life of an average vehicle, even after paying for new technology.
- Reduce national oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day in 2030 – the same amount we imported from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined in 2010.
- Keep 280 million metric tons of carbon pollution out of the air in 2030, equivalent to shutting down 72 coal-fired power plants for a year.
- Have the potential to create up to 14,000 jobs in Minnesota.