Gasoline Consumption Drops In Oregon, Washington

Aug 31, 2012

A survey by the website finds gasoline prices at the pump are stabilizing in the Northwest going into Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, they're stabilizing right around $4 per gallon for regular unleaded on average statewide . If it's any consolation, a study by a think tank in Seattle finds gasoline consumption in Oregon and Washington is "on a gentle downward slide."

The environmentally-oriented Sightline Institute analyzed years' worth of federal and state gas sales and driving data. In a new report, the think tank concludes weekly gasoline use per person in Washington and Oregon has fallen to its lowest level in nearly fifty years. Overall gas consumption in the Pacific Northwest states continues a decade long slide.

Research director Clark Williams Derry says the biggest reason why is, we're driving less than we used to.

Williams Derry: "Some of us are choosing to live in cities where we don't have to drive as often. Some of us are choosing to take the bus more often or bike or walk for more trips."

Williams Derry says improved vehicle gas mileage also accounts for some of the decline in annual gas consumption. But he says high gas prices, changing demographics, and the state of the economy are much more important factors. 

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

Sightline Institute study: "Shifting Into Reverse: Northwest Gasoline Consumption"