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RMI Introduces New Oil Imports Map
Sarah Kuck, 9 Jan 09

Breaking our dependence on fossil fuels isn't only a solution for halting our climate changing emissions, it's also about gaining energy independence and being cautious about when we reach peak oil.

The Rocky Mountain Institute has created a new oil map web tool that intricately illustrates this concept. RMI partnered with Google to create a visual representation of how much oil the U.S. has imported, from where, and how much we have spent during every month since 1973.


The team at RMI reminds us that if we take control of our energy future, we can change the way this map looks. About five years ago, RMI's Chief Scientist, Chairman and Co-founder Amory Lovins and a team of RMI collaborators wrote a roadmap for the United States to get completely off oil by 2050. The project resulted in a book called Winning the Oil Endgame. You can download it here.

Although disturbing in what it represents, the interactive map is quite entertaining and useful. (I found it interesting to look for connections between spikes, sources and U.S. foreign relations.) To know where we're going, it's important to know where we've been. Being able to visualize an issue, to see how much is where, and coming from who, is important and helpful when trying to imagine a future without those supplies or relationships. Weaning ourselves off a resource we are so evidently addicted to will be difficult, but it will be much easier and more exciting to plan for than the alternative option of panic and scarcity.

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