U.S. Gas Consumption Declines by 1.1%
Americans grumbled but they paid $2.00, and then $3.00 a gallon gas. Economists who study such things say U.S. drivers in a growing economy simply endured those price spikes, spending less elsewhere rather than changing their driving habits. But now, according to The Wall Street Journal [sub], those same economists see a broadly-troubled economy in which everything from food to health care costs more. The shift in both perception and reality is finally forcing Americans to drive less, and even to take (gasp!) public transportation. To wit: domestic gasoline consumption declined by 1.1 percent in the past six weeks. Lehman Brothers analyst Adam Robinson calls the potential for a long term conservation effort by Americans, "a major structural change in the market." Peak Oilers call it, "demand destruction." The working poor call it "more of the same."
We think we got problems with gas going up. The price of sawdust has gone from $25 a ton in 2006 to over $100 today in some markets. So hold off on your plans to convert your cars to sawdust power.
"Oil prices revolve not around supply and demand, but rather expectations of future supply and demand. As the leading source of demand, all the US needs to do is reduce expectations of our demand for oil. How? one way would be to announce an extra $1 per gallon tax, starting in 2 years. Popular? No, not at first. But if it moves oil from $100 back to $30, you’ll be paying less than $3 per gallon at the pump, and the federal deficit will start to fall as well." Now there is a great idea!Let's give the polititians more money to squander. How about this; Improve public transportation, move more freight by rail instead of trucks and I'll bet that someone somewhere in this great nation will or has already come up with a sythetic fuel to augment alternitive powered vehicles. The USA can do great things but it seems that we have to be pushed into a corner to act. I have taken the Eurostar from Paris to London-186mph-smooth quiet and reliable but I dread taking the Metro into NYC. We can have the same trans here and as far as gas prices in Europe, most of that IS tax but when you need medical care it's free and as far as paying down the deficit how's this? Spend less!We have to stick together but I doubt that that will ever happen because everyone has their own agenda but one thing is for sure-We're all in this together!
@jkross22 Over in the thread about GM and Chrysler, one poster described visiting a Honda dealer to look at a Civic. Well, there weren't any to look at, they were all sold - and "do you want us to get in touch when we get some more in about two or three weeks?" I think people are arriving at a conclusion as to which cars to buy independently of Lutz' pipe dreams.
Fuelgagereport has the data. http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/ There are outliers edging above USD4 -- but the averages from the link above are a good guide.