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Energy Key Findings – November/December 2011

Climate-responsible Companies
Electric Vehicles
Exporting U.S. Fossil Fuels
Changes in U.S. Energy Consumption

Climate-responsible Companies

For the last five years, Climate Counts has published a scorecard showing the most climate-responsible companies. For 2011, they evaluated 136 of the largest companies by revenue in each industry, reviewing their efforts to address climate change, using 22 criteria and a 100-point scale. The criteria measure a company’s efforts to assess its climate footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support progress on climate legislation, and communicate their efforts clearly and comprehensively to consumers. For 2011, there were 13 companies scoring 80 points or higher – more than triple the number in 2010. The following chart lists the top 10 companies.

2011 Climate Counts, Top 10 Companies

Electric Vehicles

Four in 10 drivers (42%) say they have never heard of or know very little about electric-only vehicles. Some 19% say they would consider buying one. Of those who would contemplate purchasing an electric vehicle, 30% say they would consider one that got less than 100 miles per charge (most get 50-100 miles). Four in 10 (40%) would pay 10% more for an electric vehicle than for a similar gas, diesel or hybrid vehicles.

The cost to retrofit their residence for charging an electric vehicle appears to be a major purchase barrier: only 13% of drivers are willing to spend $1,000 to do so.

Exporting U.S. Fossil Fuels

While many Americans are pushing for the U.S. to drill for oil on wild public lands, they may not realize that much of this oil and gas is not staying in the country. Much of the oil, gas, and coal that is drilled and mined in the U.S. are going to fuel cars and furnaces in places like Europe, China, and India.

  • A recent report details just how high the exports have risen:
  • The U.S. currently exports more than 690,000 barrels refined petroleum products per day like kerosene.
  • Gasoline exports have more than doubled since 2007 and are on pace this year to exceed 150 million barrels, triple the amount in 2007 – even as gas prices remain high.
  • In the first quarter of 2010, the United States exported more than 17.8 million short tons of coal. American coal exports increased by nearly 50% in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Two permits for natural gas export terminals have been approved, with several more proposed to send gas from the Marcellus Shale (located in Eastern North America) overseas.

Source: Wilderness Society, Exporting America’s Heritage

Changes in U.S. Energy Consumption

Between 2006 and 2010, total natural gas consumption rose from 22% to 26%, while petroleum and coal dropped as a percentage of consumption. During that same time, biomass and wind energy grew as a percentage of the country’s renewable energy consumption.

Total U.S. Energy Consumption


  • Only 43% of U.S. consumers say they trust companies to tell the truth about their environmental practices, down from 47% in 2008.
  • Some economists predict that nanotechnology will have a $1 trillion global market for nanoproducts over the next 10 to 15 years. (One use is a nanoproduct paint-like substance for spraying onto rooftops to replace costly rooftop solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity.)
  • Almost 70% of the jackup fleet in deepwater offshore drilling is considered old (25+ years) and inefficient like the BP drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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