Idaho feels the fuel price pinch:
Idaho fuel tax revenue declined for the first time in six years, as drivers faced with $4 per gallon gasoline shunned their cars …
Suzanne Schaefer, a lobbyist for the Idaho Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, “I even spotted a hybrid in Soda Springs. That’s not natural.”
Based on state data, Idaho gas consumption fell over 6% in the first part of 2008, compared with the comparable period in the previous year. After accounting for population growth, it’s a decline of well over 8 percent per person in a single year. That’s a big deal. If current trends continue for the rest of the year, Idaho residents will use less gasoline per capita in 2008 than in any year since 1963.
Washington’s trends are in the same direction, though not quite as dramatic. Total gas consumption is down a percent or two this year, even as population has risen. Measured per person, Washington’s gas consumption has fallen 13 percent since 1999, and are as low as they’ve been since 1967.
More reason to think that, when it comes to conservation, people pay more attention to prices than to moralizing.