High prices are taking a bite out of Northwesterners’ appetite for gasoline. After decades of steady growth following by years of level consumption, residents of Oregon and Washington are now using less gas. High, volatile prices; social and technological trends; and changing driving behavior are behind the trend.
From the report:
- In 2011, per capita gasoline use in Oregon and Washington fell to its lowest level in nearly 50 years. Washington residents now consumer 7.3 gallons per week, while Oregonians use 7.1 gallons per week.
- Personal vehicle travel on state-owned roads has fallen 13 percent over the past decade—a real shift in our relationship with our cars. Young Americans saw the biggest decrease.
- Gains in vehicle efficiency played only a small role in the decline in gas consumption. Despite higher fuel economy standards, the real-world MPG of the US fleet has only risen risen slightly over the last ten years.