The transportation sector is moving away from oil slowly but surely. Driven by growth in the use of biofuels and natural gas, non-petroleum energy now makes up the highest percentage of total fuel consumption for transport since 1954, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
U.S. freight railroads will get $23bn worth of upgrades this year, and taxpayers won't pick up the tab. That's because the railroads build, maintain and improve their own infrastructure and even pay property taxes on their tracks. Also, freight trains are about three times as fuel-efficient as long-haul trucks, which means they help cut smog and reduce the U.S.'s carbon emissions and oil dependence. And forget those accident-prone trains your kids watch on Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. In reality, shifting freight from roads to rails sharply reduces crashes and congestion.