How much would you pay for a gallon of gas? $4.00? $10.00? Would you pay with the health of your lungs or with years taken from your lifespan? The infamous "pain at the pump" runs much deeper than our wallets, argues Terry Tamminen, former secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and current special advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Petroleum may power our cars and heat our homes, but it also contributes to birth defects and disorders like asthma and emphysema, not to mention cancer.
In Lives Per Gallon, Tamminen takes a hard look at these and other health, environmental, and national security costs hidden in every barrel of oil.
While the petroleum industry is raking in huge profits, Tamminen shows, it is studiously avoiding measures that would lessen the hazards of its products. Using the successful lawsuits by state governments against big tobacco as a model, the author sets forth a bold strategy to hold oil and auto companies accountable and force industry reform. He also offers a blueprint for developing alternative energy sources based on California's real world experiences.
Certain to be controversial, Lives Per Gallon is an unblinking assessment of the true price of petroleum and a prescription for change. The choice is clear: continuing paying with our health, or kick our addiction and evolve beyond an oil-dependent economy.