photo: Adam/CC BY-SA
Maine's taking a stand against oil usage and oil dependency--frankly the bigger issue than where we get our oil from, tar sands and other unconventional oil sources aside. As NRDC Switchboard reports, the state has passed a law mandating a 30% reduction in overall oil usage by 2030 and a 50% reduction by 2050, all cuts being from 2009 levels.
This law is ambitious, and the impetus behind it is clear. According to the federal Energy Information Administration, Maine is the fourth most oil-dependent state in the country. Mainers spend $15 million a day on oil, mostly for home heating and transportation. Oil is also the number one source of air pollution in the state, which has held on to its reputation for clean air despite the fact that every county, save one, received a C grade or lower from the American Lung Association's 2010 State of the Air report.
The law tasks the Efficiency Maine Trust, a non-profit government entity responsible for energy efficiency programs across the state, to develop a plan for achieving the goals by 2012. The Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security will evaluate the state's progress every five years.
About this time last summer TreeHugger took a stab at getting the get us off oil discussion going in a practical way. So here are our takes on the biggest parts of Maine's oil usage:
As for that 2050 goal, I suppose the big open-ended question is how much of that reduction will be forced upon Maine, as it will be elsewhere, by peak oil.