Gasoline Consumption Plunges, Diesel Soars
July 13th, 2008 12:09 PM Share
The drop in fuel consumption continues. The Wall Street Journal reports that "gasoline consumption dropped 3.3% from last year to 9.347 million barrels a day." This puts current domestic gas usage at the lowest level since 2003, effectively rolling back five years of growing demand. Consequently, fuel supplies at refiners are growing, up by one million barrels in the last week alone. Of course, compared to 9.347m barrels per day of consumption, having an additional million barrels in inventory is hardly a glut. The reduced consumption started with a one percent drop (compared to last year) during April, ramped to a 2.2 percent drop in June and then hit 3.3 percent during the week surrounding the 4th of July. But, while consumers are cutting back, trucking and farming are doing the drunken sailor routine. U.S. diesel consumption is up a full six percent compared to last year– even though diesel fuel prices are up 65 percent while the price of gasoline rose by only 38 percent. Ironically, some of the boom in diesel fuel use is down to increased ethanol feedstocks and the fleet of tanker trucks required to move the stuff around. (Gasoline can be transported over long distances in pipelines; ethanol has to go one tanker truck at a time.) As for the clean diesel car revolution, dead on arrival.
Published July 13th, 2008 12:06 PM
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Chuck, Thanks for your valuable insight. Your co-op suggestion sounds like an excellent idea. Cheers, Q
You're welcome. Good luck! --chuck http://chuck.goolsbee.org