Oregon

Report: Gasoline Usage At Lowest Level In 50 Years

OPB | Aug. 31, 2012 7:35 a.m. | Portland

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As Northwesterners head to the pump for Labor Day weekend, a new report shows gas usage at its lowest level in 50 years.

Last year, each resident of Oregon and Washington burned an average of about a gallon a day. At its peak in 1978, we were using 1.5 gallons. 

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Clark Williams-Derry of the Sightline Institute conducted the report and says there are multiple reasons.

He explained, “Cars are getting a little bit more efficient, we’re tending to drive a little bit less. We are seeing gains in mass transit and alternative transportation, like bicycles. But really, behind all of these changes appears to be the rising and volatile price of gasoline.”

The report says that over the last 10 years, the miles driven per capita on state roads has fallen 13 percent; and vehicle fuel efficiency has increased a few percentage points. 

Sightline Institute graphic of gas consumption.

Sightline Institute graphic of gas consumption.

Sightline / Sightline

The report comes after another study that found young people no longer see driving as a symbol of freedom. There’s less impulse for them to meet up with friends in person. They can do it on-line instead.

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