GREEN
06/22/2011 02:42 pm ET | Updated Aug 22, 2011

The True Cost Of Gas (VIDEO)

As gas prices in America strain family budgets, it's worth considering the true cost of filling up at the pump.

The Center for Investigative Reporting has put together this animated video detailing the hidden costs of fuel.

It notes that a single driver creates 10,000 pounds of greenhouse gas pollution a year. It takes one acre of forest to absorb that pollution.

It takes a forest the size of California, Nevada and Arizona to absorb the pollution created by all U.S. drivers each year, according to the center.

Though a gallon of gas usually ranges between about $3 and $4 in America, that price does not include externalities, or hidden costs like emergency room visits, lost work days, missed school days and even death. The video notes that external costs could run the price of gas up to as much as $1.7 trillion per year in the US. That's about $15 a gallon.

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