Study: Idaho leads new gas-guzzling trend - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Study: Idaho leads new gas-guzzling trend

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Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:30 am

Lower prices at the pump gave a boost to per-capita gasoline consumption in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia in 2009—reversing a decade-long trend of decline.

Idaho drivers—already the highest per-capita consumers in the region—led the Northwest by increasing their gasoline purchases by nearly 4 percent. Washington and Oregon saw per capita increases of less than 1 percent, which is a departure from the states’ nearly uninterrupted decline since 1999.

Total gasoline consumption in the Northwest states rose by 2 percent, or 100 million gallons, according to new research from Seattle-based Sightline Institute. That bucks a nationwide trend of declining gas use in the United States.

The increase is surprising, considering the US economy remained stalled during 2009.

“It looks like the real culprit in increased gasoline consumption was lower prices,” said Eric de Place, senior researcher for Sightline Institute and author of the report. But while gas use went up, last year also brought a decline in the Northwest states’ consumption of diesel—a fuel closely related to trucking and other commercial activity.

The most startling data came from north of the Canadian border. Despite promises of a low-carbon Olympics, the economic activity spurred by the preparations for the Winter Games contributed to a 10 percent increase in per capita gasoline sales—the largest single-year gain in at least 30 years. The report notes that the increase occurred despite BC’s groundbreaking carbon tax, which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Over the long term, putting a meaningful price on pollution from fossil fuels is a key step toward reducing climate-changing emissions and our dependence on unstable, dirty sources of energy,” said de Place, noting that, for consumers, the roller-coaster effect of global fuel prices can overwhelm more modest policy options.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Triumph posted at 8:56 pm on Wed, Jun 30, 2010.

    Triumph Posts: 642

    I see lunacy has been fooled by the global warming sham

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 11:41 am on Wed, Jun 30, 2010.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Well, if it was made by FORD I would be on pins and needles to get the first one. But since it's from GM (Government Motors, until Unions and Government owns none of GM or Chrysler I will look at anyone buys one a traitor to our country) I hope it costs them a fortune and no one buys one.

    Buy Ford or foreign, not Obama's Government Motors.

  • Lunacy Watch posted at 10:23 am on Wed, Jun 30, 2010.

    Lunacy Watch Posts: 176

    This consumption increase may be attributable to the near universally held belief by newly minted Idahoens that winter survival is only possible with ownership of the largest pickup or SUV available. Vehicle manufactures are responding to this fallacy with the introduction of new model lines. Dodge for instance is rumored to be planning a new behemoth truck called the Gulf Slam, an environmental disaster on wheels generating over 450HP, pistons the size of garbage cans, and the towing capacity of a five bedroom house. This vehicle will come in three strikingly new colors, ozone orange, Bayou brown and California skies silver haze. Plans also include dual Bluetooth adapters so conversations can be enjoyed simultaneously by both driver and passenger, and of course, GPS comes standard as it should by now be obvious that people who purchase such vehicles remain totally clueless to events in the larger world around them. Dodge is as of yet uncertain if the recognizable RAM trademark will be replaced by an oily brown pelican.

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