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Old 05-15-08, 07:49 AM   #1
mike
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The USA is using less gasoline. Guess how much less.

According to KansasCity.com:

"Gas consumption so far this year is down about 0.2 percent compared to last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. The federal agency is predicting that gasoline demand will be down 0.4 percent this summer and 0.3 percent for the year."
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Old 05-15-08, 07:56 AM   #2
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0.2 percent?

Fancy way to make .002 (not the percentage, of course) appear larger to those who can't do their arithmetic. Gives one an idea of how little this actually is.

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Old 05-15-08, 08:21 AM   #3
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Well, considering that 2007 gasoline consumption was 3,390,977 thousand gallons, that means that if they reach the projected .03% for the year, it would be about 1017 thousand gallons less. Simple way of saying it for people that can do math.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:17 AM   #4
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How many motor vehicles compared to last year?
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Old 05-15-08, 10:56 AM   #5
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In other words - NO less gasoline.

/what a shocker, eh?
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Old 05-15-08, 11:17 AM   #6
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well, considering the rise in population year to year, ANY reduction would be an accomplishment, in my opinion.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:25 PM   #7
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In other words - NO less gasoline.

/what a shocker, eh?
Since in a given month, gas usage typically goes up 1% from a year previous... it's bigger than it sounds. IIRC we're on something like month 3 of small decreases from the previous year's usage. Do that for a year, and it adds up.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:43 PM   #8
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well, considering the rise in population year to year, ANY reduction would be an accomplishment, in my opinion.
My thoughts exactly. Demand is going up, but so is either efficiency or conservation is going up faster.
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Old 05-15-08, 03:28 PM   #9
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If the Bush Administration looks at that level of reduction as good news, I say it's nothing but a farce.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:23 PM   #10
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well, considering the rise in population year to year, ANY reduction would be an accomplishment, in my opinion.
Good point!

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Old 05-15-08, 06:05 PM   #11
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It's a start.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:25 PM   #12
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Hopefully people will stop buying those ridiculously large 8000 lb suv's that get 15mpg and/or get cars with better mileage.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:35 PM   #13
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unfortunately, the USA has kept CAFE gas mileage standards in the 1970's and grouping SUVs into the 'light truck' exempt from CAFE car standards didn't help anything.

I read recently that China has higher fuel efficiency standards than the USA.

any reduction in US gas use is a good one - however, if it's caused by economic neccessitythat's not an indicator of any 'greening' of the american public but a marker of financial hardship facing the general public.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:59 PM   #14
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Hopefully people will stop buying those ridiculously large 8000 lb suv's that get 15mpg and/or get cars with better mileage.
I hear lots of complaining about it. I've been stuck driving my husband's truck to work, and every day, the greenie in me cried. Glad I got the bike!

Although I have to say, I'm so tired of people whining about how they can't get any trade-in value for their behemoths. Being a stay-at-home mom, I was literally the only one not driving an SUV or a Van -- and lots of these people only had 1 or 2 kids! (It is hard to find a car that fits today's ginormous car seats, though.)
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Old 05-15-08, 07:13 PM   #15
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unfortunately, the USA has kept CAFE gas mileage standards in the 1970's and grouping SUVs into the 'light truck' exempt from CAFE car standards didn't help anything.

I read recently that China has higher fuel efficiency standards than the USA.

any reduction in US gas use is a good one - however, if it's caused by economic neccessitythat's not an indicator of any 'greening' of the american public but a marker of financial hardship facing the general public.
I think it's all the up bringing. I know a few people who used to live in china, russia, india, and were piss dirt poor. They're all filthy rich now and they're not squandering resources like mad. They mostly drive toyota's and honda's, albeit really well equiped ones, that get great gas mileage and still turn off the lights when leave a room.

Difference is, they were poor, they knew what it was like, and they knew not to waste anything, and it stuck with them.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:14 PM   #16
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Will take a while for the larger vehicles and motor vehicle dependent aspects of life to shift radically. I expect we'll continue to see gradual declines, which really add up. SUVs will get retired early, smaller cars will enter the market. Systems to de-emphasize cars will gradually build momentum. There's some good work in those areas, but it will take time. Perhaps time we don't have. Little changes add up. People living close to work. Choosing 4 cylinder vehicles. Driving less. We've been doing that for years. With a bigger family, we have a bigger vehicle we're planning to kill. It should die completely about the time my daughter goes to college. That might be the way we'll see things go. Incremental. Which is OK.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:09 PM   #17
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I read recently that China has higher fuel efficiency standards than the USA.
That may be true. I haven't read it (but haven't looked for it either). But at the same time those gas efficient vehicles pollute worse than ours. Kinda crappy tradeoff.

And I don't understand the people who laugh. This is good news. Keep in mind the population, and gas usage have been rising steadily for what, the last 80+ years? You don't turn that around overnight.


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Old 05-16-08, 07:42 AM   #18
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I have to say that while I don't like the way that everyone and their brothers seem to want an SUV, I've driven them for the last 18 or 20 years. Simply because nothing else offers the function I need. On nearly any given day I have up to $8000 worth of tools in my explorer. A truck with topper is less secure, a van is too large, and mini vans just don't seem to hold up. So there are people who use SUVs because nothing else is functional.

What I get a kick out of is that anytime you see gridlocked traffic, it's rare to see more than one person in each car, if they were to just double up, you'd halve the number of cars on the road.

And even today, carpooling and ridesharing when seen in advertisements, is portrayed as a very distastefull experience. They generally show a 'normal' guy/girl stuck in the car with a bunch of irritating and obnoxious slobs, since advertising has a hefty impact on people's opinions, it's kind of hard to go against it when pushing ride shares and public transportation.

Also, SUVs are most often based on truck chassis, so no real surprise that they are classed as small trucks. Many states though do class them as passenger vehicles.

Typically my decisions to drive or ride the bicycle are based on distance, whether I have to transport something, or weather. If the weathers nice I have no trouble riding the bike 40 miles to see a friend, but in nasty weather I'll take the truck or borrow the wifes car. I have a trailer for the bike so I can haul some things, but it's not good for everything.

Ken.
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Old 05-16-08, 08:22 AM   #19
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SUVs were lobbyied by carmakers to be included in the truck category, so these wouldn't skew a manufacturers' CAFE standards, ken. There was quite the controversy when this was enacted 10-15 years ago.
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Old 05-16-08, 08:23 AM   #20
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What could make the OP's statistic much more meaningful for me would be to see figures of gas consumption for something like the last 5 years. This would show the percentage increase per year in various years and how the trajectory might be changing.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:04 AM   #21
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What could make the OP's statistic much more meaningful for me would be to see figures of gas consumption for something like the last 5 years. This would show the percentage increase per year in various years and how the trajectory might be changing.
Ask and you shall receive: Linky

note that numbers are in thousands, thus 2007 consumption listed at 9,290 is that many thousand, or 9,290,000 barrels.

Unfortunately I find in pointing that out that I misread a number somewhere in my drug induced state. I can't even figure out where the numbe I used above came from, so let me offer my apologies and a correction. 2007 consumption was in fact 9,290,000 barrels. If we go the projected .3% for the year, that would be 27,870 fewer barrels of gasoline, or 9,262,130 barrels. This still represents an increase of 9,130 gallons over the previous year, as compared to an increase of 37,000 barrels between 2006 and 2007.

edit: a barrel is defined by this source as 42 gallons.

Take a look at the chart. You can see the reduction in 1974, then a big drop in 1980. Last year's increase of 37k barrels was the smallest increase in at least a decade.

I am total agreement with those that believe our reliance on and use of petroleum products must decrease, but I see hope in a slowing of the increase.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:22 AM   #22
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What disgusts me most is that, as a society, we were warned in 1973, and again in 1979. We have seen this coming for 35 years! When I bought my first car, a one-year-old 1976 Ford Pinto Squire station wagon, I got the "MPG" model with the 2.3L 4-cylinder engine instead of the V-6. Car buyers of the late 1970s cared about fuel efficiency, and the auto makers marketed their wares accordingly. Every one of the four new cars I have bought has had a 4-cylinder engine. I have always strongly favored sporty small-to-midsize wagons over gas-thirsty, unstable SUVs and minivans, but we now have very few options in the U.S. I have also arranged my lifestyle to minimize the amount of driving I need to do. My wife and I try to keep our cars 15 to 20 years, and usually succeed.

My advice is to buy a car large enough to be reasonably safe but small enough to be fuel efficient, look for opportunities to rideshare, combine trips, ride a bike, walk, ride transit, avoid trips, etc., and invest your savings in energy stocks, my long-term favorite of which has been Apache (APA).
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Old 05-16-08, 09:26 AM   #23
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What could make the OP's statistic much more meaningful for me would be to see figures of gas consumption for something like the last 5 years. This would show the percentage increase per year in various years and how the trajectory might be changing.
Very good point. Since demand growth has typically averaged 1-2% over the past several decades, the fact that it has flattened out is meaningful.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:36 AM   #24
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there were several car models available in the 1980's that got close to or exceeding 50MPG..... what happened to those cars? Hondas and a couple of other manufacturers.

Try to find a car that gets that good of gas mileage in ANY manufacturers' fleet nowadays.

Americans have been sold a flawed set of goods for a flawed transportation paradigm for all the wrong reasons. Pernicious pandering by automakers to base desires of 'safety' and machismo helped create this gluttony. Instead of shortages or environmentalism, gas use is down because of inflation and hard times in america.

It's an indicator of economic hardship in my opinion. If the shortsighted bulk of americans realized the folly of large cars, personal mobility, ethanol economy and false freedoms of the no longer open road, gasoline use would really decline. Maybe wait until america is totally paralyzed by a spiral of higher gas and food prices?

It's still just griping at the pump. Food, gas, or medicine is a dilemma facing many americans today.

Bush just visited the Saudis to implore they boost production. they said, "NO, sell us arms, little man." Did anyone catch hillary blaming the oil companies for disruption in supply and demand? What a sorry state america has fallen into.

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Old 05-16-08, 09:56 AM   #25
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I think it's all the up bringing. I know a few people who used to live in china, russia, india, and were piss dirt poor. They're all filthy rich now and they're not squandering resources like mad. They mostly drive toyota's and honda's, albeit really well equiped ones, that get great gas mileage and still turn off the lights when leave a room.

Difference is, they were poor, they knew what it was like, and they knew not to waste anything, and it stuck with them.
Same as some of us Yanks who are old enough to have had Depression-era parents--before she passed, my mom was a little proud of my switching-off habits!
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