How oil dependent is your state?

Natural Resources Defense Council report ranks which states are hardest hit by oil prices.

David Gardiner & Associates/NRDC

The effects that fluctuating oil prices have had on the average American vary widely by state, according to a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States' Oil Vulnerability and Solutions for Change," a report (PDF) prepared for the NRDC by David Gardiner & Associates, ranks U.S. states in two major ways. One list ranks U.S. states by their dependence on oil, taking in factors like gas prices. The other ranks states' efforts to reduce oil dependence, taking into account public transportation funding, state fleet efficiency, hybrid car purchasing incentives, emissions standards, and clean-energy projects.

In 2008, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, and Oklahoma residents were the hardest hit by oil prices with their drivers spending a larger percentage of their income on gasoline than other Americans. The NRDC's official ranking is by both percentage of income and actual dollar amount spent on gas. So while Mississippi ranked worst for drivers spending the largest percentage of their income on gas, Oklahoma drivers actually spent the most, spending on average $2,766.65 in 2008.

There were some surprises in the report.

A state that you might not normally associate with clean energy (or clean air) seems to have reinvented itself. New Jersey, who just recently announced a major solar effort for its leading power utility , was ranked seventh for states doing the most to promote clean-energy technology and reduce oil dependency in 2008. Not surprisingly, California, which has also been buying big into solar power for utilities amid a plethora of other green initiatives throughout the state, was ranked first.

The states doing the most to wean residents off oil, according to the NRDC report:

  1. California
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Washington
  4. New Mexico
  5. Connecticut
  6. New York
  7. New Jersey
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Oregon
  10. Florida

Ten states were also singled out by the NRDC for exerting the least amount of effort to wean themselves off oil in the organization's eyes.

"The failure of the 10 worst states to take meaningful action to reduce oil dependence exacerbates the national security and environmental harms associated with our current transportation habits. These and other states need to be drivers of change," the NRDC said in its report.

The 10 states making the least amount of effort to reduce oil dependence, according to the NRDC report:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Idaho
  3. Wyoming
  4. Mississippi
  5. South Dakota
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Alabama
  8. Arkansas
  9. North Dakota
  10. Alaska
Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Is your phone battery always at 4 percent?

These battery packs will give your device the extra juice to power through all of those texts and phone calls.