The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has put out its second annual report on how vulnerable states are to oil prices. It may seem a bit irrelevant now that the price of oil has backed off a bit, but you never know what’s brewing.
The study, “Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States’ Oil Vulnerability and Solutions for Change” rates vulnerability based on the percentage of an average resident’s income that goes to gasoline purchases. It also ranks the states by what they are doing to promote more energy efficient driving.
“This report shows that when oil prices go up, families in some states are hit much harder than others because they are paying a greater percentage of their income at the gas pump,” said Deron Lovaas, Transportation Policy Director at NRDC.
States that adopt laws promoting clean and efficient vehicles and investing in public transit are helping protect their citizens from high oil prices, the report concludes.
In summary, drivers in the most vulnerable state–Mississippi–spend an average of more than 7.8 percent of their income on gasoline . In The least vulnerable state, Connecticut, it’s just 3.17 percent of income.
What states are doing the most to promote energy-saving policies to reduce their oil dependency and protect their residents from oil price spikes, according to the study? California, New York, Connecticut, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Colorado and Maryland.
The report gives the highest marks to policies that promote “clean cars” (incentives for hybrid vehicles, for example), clean energy (low-carbon fuel standards), research and development, and smart growth and public transit . Texas had only two of the ten potential policy boxes checked off: state fleet efficiency standards and R&D funds for cars and fuels.
Texas is 16th for vulnerability, with 5.85% of income, or $2,174.03, going to gas purchases, and 36th for doing something to promote energy savings.
How do these results match up with your own personal spending habits?