7 ways our oil addiction is hurting the economy

We spend billions of dollars every year on oil that could be spent on cleaner, cheaper, American-made fuels. The impact of this addiction can be seen throughout our economy in a cycle of job and money loss:

  1. AMERICAN JOBS: When oil prices fluctuate, all levels of the economy are affected. When businesses have to pay more to ship their products because of a spike in fuel prices, they have to cut those costs elsewhere, leading to job loss.
  2. RECESSIONS: Of the 11 recessions in the U.S. since World War II, 10 were preceded by an oil-price spike. By breaking our oil addiction and investing in fuel choice, we can break this cycle.
  3. RELIANCE ON IMPORTS: The U.S. imports about 40 percent of its oil, sending money abroad that could have helped our economy at home. Building up the domestic infrastructure of alternative fuels would spur economic activity, instead of siphoning away billions that flow overseas.
  4. HOUSING: High gas prices hit close to home. As gas prices rise, the value of homes farther away from big cities, according to economist Joe Cortright, begin to devalue as the cost of commuting rises.
  5. WALL STREET: In July 2008, the price of oil hit $147 a barrel, and two months later Wall Street followed suit. In one day, the DOW Jones Industrial Average fell 777 points, ushering in the financial crisis.
  6. FLUCTUATING PRICES:  When gas and oil costs go up, the cost of other products follows. Suddenly, consumers have to pay more for everyday goods that require gasoline or diesel to be shipped. And when we’re spending more on our everyday necessities, we’re spending less on other things we need — delaying big purchases.
  7. LIMITED CHOICES: With no other options (unless you’re driving a flex-fuel or an electric car), the fluctuation of gas prices leaves the average consumer a sitting duck — unable to pay the price, but unable to purchase any other fuel. That’s why bringing fuel choice to the pump is so important.

The U.S. is at the mercy of oil companies as prices fluctuate, impacting our economy, including day-to-day prices for consumers and the overall job market. It’s time to break this cycle of dependence by bringing fuel choice to the pump.

Join the movement: http://www.fuelfreedom.org/take-action/

4 replies
  1. RogerD
    RogerD says:

    This article brought a late afternoon smile to me! $147 a barrel for oil…have you looked to see where oil is today? Do you an idea of where oil will go if Iran ramps up production? Cleaner , cheaper American made fuels…with the exception of domestic oil and gas, name one!

    What a pollyanish piece of drivel this is.

    • Landon Hall
      Landon Hall says:

      The post clearly states that oil hit $147 in July 2008, a couple months before the economy as a whole collapsed. … Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline, in most parts of the country where it’s available. Out here in California, where gasoline is very high now, E85 — between 51 percent and 83 percent ethanol — is $1 cheaper! I’m glad you mentioned gas, as in natural gas. NG is about 70 percent cheaper than the equivalent amount of oil. If we made ethanol from NG, we’d have fuel that’s even cheaper than the E85 we’re seeing now!

  2. realkeeper
    realkeeper says:

    This article is complete poop. Just make up whatever you want that supports your environmental beliefs. The idea that $147/bbl oil had anything to do with the financial crisis (which was actually a function of the housing bubble/subprime lending, the CDS market and AIG, deteriorated lending standards, low interest rates) is totally absurd. You also act like people don’t get anything in return for hydrocarbons. You make it seem expensive. It’s the cheapest source of energy on the planet!!! If anything, it enables people to buy more “other stuff” than if people relied on solar, wind, etc. In short, you are a moron.

    • Landon Hall
      Landon Hall says:

      Sorry your post turned personal at the end. We don’t get involved much in wind and solar; those are sources for power generation for the grid, not transportation, which is where we’re at. You’re right: Oil is cheap right now, around the world. But there are costs associated with that, namely to our health, our environment, and from instability in oil-producing regions. When was the last time we had to send troops into a dangerous part of the world to protect ethanol supply lines? … And we didn’t just make up that stuff about oil spikes being tied to economic downturns. Check out the work of Jeremy Rifkin, author of “The Third Industrial Revolution.” (He’s also in our 2014 documentary film, PUMP). Here he is in a 2011 interview with Bloomberg discussing the book: “The real crisis has been missed,” he said. “It occurred in July 2008, when oil hit $147 a barrel. The whole economic system shut down. That was the earthquake. The collapse of the financial market 60 days later was the aftershock.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-09-22/oil-era-s-twilight-drives-depression-debt-crisis-rifkin-says-interview. Also, check out the work of UC San Diego economist James Hamilton, who found that oil shocks frequently precede economic recession. Of the 11 such recessions in the U.S. since WWII, 10 had an oil price-spike as a foreshadow. http://www.fuelfreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/UCSD_Dependence-oil.pdf

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