Sweden aims to be oil-free in 15 years

It’s official: Sweden is the coolest … country … evar. Already widely admired for meatballs, Ikea, and, um, other Swedish stuff, the country has now announced its aim to have an oil-free economy by 2020. The Swedes cut the percentage of their energy coming from oil from 77 percent in 1970 to 32 percent in 2003, and they’re favoring biofuels over nuclear power to get them down to zero. Only 8 percent of Swedish homes are heated by oil today, and thanks to tax breaks, Swedes can fill their Saabs with ethanol-based fuel for a third less than they’d spend on ordinary gasoline. Upon hearing that President Bush had declared America addicted to oil, Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson expressed relief that “at last there’s one more who understands the problem.” Guess he didn’t get Bush’s “didn’t mean it” follow-up memo. Awkward! (Note that this blurb contained not a single Swedish Chef joke — that’s the kind of maturity we bring to environmental journalism.)