Experts say gasoline consumption will continue to decline

December 21, 2010

Associated Press energy writer Jonathan Fahey, in a well-researched article published across the nation this week, reports that even once the recession is behind us, demand for gasoline is not likely to return to its peak of 2006.

Noting that demand has fallen for four consecutive years, Fahey suggests that stricter fuel efficiency standards, the popularity of hybrids and increasing reliance on biofuels will have a continuing impact on petroleum consumption. Today, gasoline consumption is 8 percent less than in 2006, and experts predict that by 2030 it will have dropped by 20 percent.

Although the article does not discuss it, the trend will have a profound impact on transportation funding, since both federal and state funding relies on a gasoline consumption tax to fund highway maintenance and construction. It’s the reason behind discussions about converting from a consumption tax to a miles-driven fee, which many believe is a more equitable way to assure that those who use our highway assets pay for their upkeep.

To read the article, click here.

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