The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently released the latest version of its annual report, "Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States' Gasoline Price Vulnerability and Solutions for Change."
It ranks states by "gasoline price vulnerability" — the percentage of personal income drivers spent on gas in 2011.
Every state's gas price vulnerability rose from 2010 to 2011.
At the top of the list is Mississippi, where filling the tank requires 8.98 percent of the average driver's income. The state has held the number one position every year since 2007.
According to the report, the least vulnerable state was Connecticut, where gas spending represented only 3.51 percent of income.
The other states in the top 10 are:
2. West Virginia: 8.10 percent
3. South Carolina: 7.91 percent
4. Kentucky: 7.89 percent
5. Oklahoma: 7.56 percent
6. Texas: 7.30 percent
7. Georgia: 7.21 percent
8. Iowa: 7.18 percent
9. New Mexico: 7.18 percent
10. Arkansas: 7.10 percent
The NRDC argues America's dependence on oil is "problematic" for a simple reason: "The United States uses several times more oil than it possesses." Importing oil is costly, and "threatens our national economy. The report also notes the rise in carbon dioxide and global warming as causes for concern.
The NRDC also ranked states for their action to reduce oil dependence by investing in public transportation and implementing policies to reduce emissions from cars. California (which is building a high-speed rail network) did the most in 2011. Nebraska did the least.
Here's the map of gasoline price vulnerability:
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