According to the Sightline institute, gas consumption is down in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington and Idaho. For more stats and details, read the full report.) In terms of weekly gasoline consumption per person, Oregon and Washington are in the top 10 least consuming states (Washington D.C. actually leads the pack.)
This is good news–way to go northwesterners, but don’t go celebrating just yet.
Our total consumption, keeping pace with population growth, has not dropped. Per-captia we still consume more gas than a handful of states including New York, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Alaska, Utah, Illinois and Pennsylvania. And compared against the world, the report reminds us we still have a long way to go:
Despite recent reductions, northwesterners still consume prodigious amounts of gasoline. Daily consumption in the Northwest states remains nearly twice as high as the global average for high-income countries.
This is not surprising but shameful nonetheless. Americans do love the freedom of driving on the open road.
In the past eight years, our family has drastically reduced our gas consumption. We used to drive to work (sometimes in two cars despite the proximity of our offices to one another) and shop for entertainment in our car. We occasionally took the bus, but most of the time we were out there burning up fossil fuel like good Americans. Now Tim bike commutes exclusively and I ride my bike for errands, kid hauling etc. We walk more and basically park our car and only use it on occasion for out-of-town-trips. As we’ve said before it’s fun and not that much of a sacrifice.
I wonder if Washington Republican gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi,has read the report? According to the PI, he has a grand plan to move proposed Eastside light rail funds to carpool lanes. Do we need more HOV lanes? Are people really going to be driving cars 30 years from now when these hypothetical lanes would be completed? Instead of building more lanes, why not work some more on our consumption and give northwesterners options, other than personal automobiles, for getting around.
I know a number of our readers are completely car-free and have zero gas consumption. I admire and applaud you. I’d love to hear how many of you are completely car-free. How about the rest of you – how’s your gas consumption?