Toronto, Ontario – More than 60 per cent of Ontario residents surveyed support government laws and spending to move to clean energy and away from oil, even if it means new taxes or fees, according to a new report by Environmental Defence.

“The tragic oil spill in the Gulf has brought the dangers of continued dependence on oil into sharp focus,” said Dr. Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence. “The lesson here is that the McGuinty government can act smartly and aggressively to reduce oil use, and the public would be behind him.”

The poll found that 67 per cent surveyed support the provincial government introducing laws and policies to accelerate a transition from oil to other energy sources, even if it means changing how people use transportation; 62 per cent support provincial spending to transition from oil to electric vehicles, with funding from new fees and taxes on oil and gas pollution; and 41 per cent said that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has made them mindful of the gasoline they use.

“Countries like Denmark and Israel are mounting massive scale-ups in electric vehicles, while other countries are making the needed investments in public transit,” Smith said. “The real world practical solutions already exist. It is time for us to both prevent future spills and to tackle global warming by getting off oil.”

Ontario consumes nearly 200 million barrels of oil each year, primarily for transportation, and sends up to $20 billion out of the province to  buy it.

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