NRDC: Gas prices can cripple residents in sprawling communities

As gas costs go up and geopolitical concern over oil supplies rises, many Americans are feeling increasingly vulnerable. But residents in some metro areas are more exposed than others. Places where “affordable” housing lies at the distant fringe no longer look so affordable. Spread-out metros like Atlanta, where Gov. Sonny Perdue cancelled school during the post-Katrina fuel shortage, are especially susceptible to fluctuations in gas prices.

New research from the Natural Resources Defense Council backs up this link, and ranks states based on their “vulnerability to high gas prices and on policies that protect consumers and the environment and reduce vulnerability to oil price increases.” The report, “Addicted to Oil: Ranking States’ Oil Vulnerability and Solutions for Change,” ranks all 50 states based on the hit drivers take to their wallets, showing that while oil dependence affects all states, some are hit harder economically than others. When oil prices go up, families in vulnerable states are hit the hardest.

Read the report