Northwesterners Using Less Gasoline

From Sightline Institute

New Sightline Report:
Northwesterners Using Less Gasoline

Last week, Sightline released a new analysis of gasoline consumption in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Read the report, Easing Off the Gas, on our website. Here are some of the findings:

Gasoline consumption is down: Per-capita gasoline consumption has fallen eight out of the last nine years. And in 2008, the Northwest saw the biggest single-year drop in total gasoline consumption since 1980 (about 180 million gallons).

Transportation habits are shifting: While last year’s dramatic drop was partially due to high prices and a struggling economy, it was an acceleration of a decade-long trend—suggesting there are other factors at work. In early 2009, we’re still seeing high transit ridership and northwesterners continue to drive less.

What’s in store for the future? With new national fuel efficiency standards and serious energy legislation in Congress, we are taking steps to get our economy off the fossil fuel roller coaster. Our local investments can reflect this new way of thinking about how we get around; rather than adding freeway capacity, we can invest in compact communities, efficiency, and more convenient transportation choices.

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