Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
US miles traveled are down 5.6% from last year.

All other things equal, i.e. no change in miles per gallon of vehicles.  This means US oil consumption is down 1.1 million barrels daily over the same period last year.  And this is without calculating in any efficiency change in the US vehicle fleet.

The thing I worry about is that gas is now near $2/gallon where I am (Ohio) how long before people start to travel more because gas costs less?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 03:31:19 AM EST
That's a good question.

Star Tribune (MN): Will we put the pedal to the metal again?

"We're right in the middle of a major change in people's driving habits. We don't know if it's going to stick," said Frank Pafko, director of the Minnesota Department of Transportation's office of environmental services.

Dawn Duffy, spokeswoman for AAA Minneapolis, believes larger economic pressures will keep driving mileage down, even with cheaper gas.

"When gas was averaging $2.50, we wondered: Is that going to change people's habits? It did not," she said. "When it finally went over $4 this summer, it changed our habits, and those habits have continued. People don't have that disposable income."

I think the U.S. is likely to see reduced consumption for oil as the black hole of capitalism sucks more and more money. Even though the price of gas is down, fewer Americans can afford to drive like they did even a year ago.

by Magnifico on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 03:53:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
law of diminishing returns...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 07:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even though the price of gas is down, fewer Americans can afford to drive like they did even a year ago.

Yes, the YoY trend in decreasing mileage (MoM) appeared about Q2 2006. I scanned the tabulated data -- April 2005-2008. (An interesting note: contrary to MSM theater, summer holiday months, May-June, report the least total vehicle miles travelled in any one calendar year.) So I tend to rule out the relative spike in pump price (Jan-Aug 2008) being the proximate and a determinative cause of Aug rate change reported. Of course, someone would compare YoY pump price(s) to mileage to argue correlation to aggregate consumer purchasing and transportation preferences. (That will not be I :)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 at 10:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that most people can make the connection that the fall in gasoline prices is not due to supplies being unlimited.

People will always have in their mind the possibility, if not probability, of $4.00 gas and will make their dispositions accordingly.

I agree with Kunstler that this is a game changing moment.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 05:54:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... short horizon demand response and long horizon demand response.

Having experienced $4/gallon gas, it is no longer unimaginable. And so if people are buying new cars ... which they will start doing sooner or later, even if economic conditions remained depressed ... they will imagine gas prices that were simply crazy talk in 2005.

However, in depressed economic conditions, it becomes even more critical to address the difference between cost-to-buy and cost-to-own, which is one thing to lobby a new Obama administration for ... a feebate, with an excise on vehicles under current fleet average efficiency and a rebate on vehicles more than twice current fleet average efficiency ... especially a feebate with the rebate focused on vehicles manufactured in North America, would be worth pushing for.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 at 03:02:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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