WSJ: Americans Consuming Less Gasoline

For the first time in 16 years (excluding the time after Hurricane Katrina), U.S. gasoline consumption has declined from the previous year. The decrease was only by 1.1%,but with a sagging economy, high gasoline prices, and concerns over the environment, Americans may be slowly changing their energy-intensive lifestyles. Furthermore, sales of large cars dropped 2.6% in 2006 and 10.5% in 2007. Though we may not be able to assess the degree to which Americans have cut back driving until the economy is healhty, the ongoing trend of new development in cities and inner-suburbs should allow more people to lead sustainable lifestyles.

In related news, author and former oil executive Matthew Simmons made a presentation before the Pentagon on February 19th. Simmons told government officials that the best solution to curb both energy demand and carbon emmissions is to travel less. He also advocated for the development of local economies (particularly local food) in order to reduce energy consumption. His presentations are available here.

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