Sunday, June 29, 2008

22 Drivers Cut Back By Billions

"[U.S.] Drivers Cut Back by 30 Billion Miles: Americans drove 22 billion fewer miles from November through April than during the same period in 2006-07, the biggest such drop since the Iranian revolution led to gasoline supply shortages in 1979-1980."

USA Today, June 22, 2008 (Original Article)

P.S : Does this mean safer roads for cycling than last year... what do you think? Do you see any changes traffic wise in your area? And what about you? Are you driving that much?


  1. Anonymous8:43 PM

    Btw, some pumps across the nation are actually shutting down because of poor margins.

  2. If I had a big big tanker at my disposal, I would fill in all the gas I could find and store it so I dont have to pay something higher an year later :) Sadly, I wont be able to do that...

  3. Anonymous8:50 PM

    Then I really dont see the point in cutting back on driving. Better drive as much now like you're dying tomorrow than pay like a b*t*h.

  4. Actually, coming to think of it more, I'd save that money. For every other dollar increase in gas prices, you're taking away money that you can put into a better investment, like say a hybrid car or something.

  5. Anon : Good point. I dont know if I'm too simplistic here, but if demand continues to fall over the next few months, I'll be surprised if I dont see gas prices at the pump actually falling. Or yes, they'll all run out of business. But that'll get all the motorists to start driving again... dangg (unless, there is a long term shift in how people look at driving)

  6. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Ron, yes you're being too simplistic.

    It should be obvious to you by now that there's plenty of oil and gas, and prices are a product of speculation and a weak dollar, not demand and supply. Essentially, we're being fooled by the media. I didn't say that, Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil did.

  7. I think that the shift will be in the movement to smaller vehicles. Once the majority of the population make the switch, I think the amount Americans drive will rise... minus the semi-truck drivers because railroads are becoming in vogue when talking about delivering goods from one place to another.

  8. Tim : But trucking is subsidized. Not rail roads.

    Anon : I think I see the market situation now. If someone authoritative can regulate all the speculation, gas prices can go down quickly. What a sad situation for the economy..

  9. Anonymous9:25 PM

    Thats what the recent Energy Markets Emergency Act passed on June 26 aims to do. I'm not sure how effective it will be.

  10. Tim : Excuse me. Dont quote me on that. Trucking is not subsidized...

  11. Anonymous9:34 PM

    Road based transportation has been subsidized by the government. Thats where tax money goes.

  12. I personally could stand cars. Not millions of trucks. We need lesser of them on the roads. Oh well, not unless Uncle Sam does anything about it. Governmental control over road transportation is really spoiling everything.

  13. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Gas prices may never go down. The U.S exports more than half of the oil it consumes, and decreased demand for oil here is offset by the high demand in India and China. Analysts claim we'll be hitting $7/gallon by 2010.

  14. Incredible.

    I can't believe we're living in a world of "paper oil"

    Here are two startling reads :

    Role of Market Speculation in Rising Oil and Gas Prices

    Market Speculation Blamed for Rising Oil Prices

  15. Anonymous11:31 PM

    I am driving less, no doubt about it. So is everyone else I know without expection. By the way, gas here in San Diego is at $5 per gallon. We all laugh when people are complaining about $4 per gallon.
    Safety? Sorry Ron no correlation. Here in Socal it is tourist season which means hundreds of lost / confused people looking for for parking spots along Hwy 101. Strange thing is that I kind of enjoy the challenge of not getting killed. Looks Like all those miles riding in New York city paid off.

  16. Yes Ron I have noticed lighter traffic here in Nova Scotia. The folks with Dual Wheeled pick up trucks and fifth wheeled trailers are mostly parked. Lot's of them for sale and lots of power boats for sale.

    The price of gas here is set every week by the government so one week a supplier didn't deliver to rural stations because the price jumped so quickly he would have lost $100,000 on three tanker loads.

    It is a lot nicer riding on the roads with the lighter traffic but what will happen to these roads because it is the gas tax that repairs them.


  17. Anonymous7:03 PM

    I live in Calgary, the oil and SUV capital of Canada, and people here grumble and complain about gas prices but don't seem willing to do much to change there own consumption and reliance on it. Like I said, the SUV is king here. Part of the reason is that most people in the city just make more money when gas prices are up, cause most everyone works in a related industry - oil or natural gas. Those of use that don't are in the minority.

    I've been commuting more by bike than ever before and to tell you the truth, I'm way happier for it. I've made deliberate decisions to live closer to work so that riding, or a longer walk, is a viable option. One interesting aspect of Calgary is that most all of the SUV drivers also all live out in the suburbs and can sometimes face an hour long commute - remarkable for Calgary. They seem oblivious, like there's no other way to live. Its weird and kind of Brave New World-ish. Maybe we'll start to see some changes, but I worry we won't.

    Riding used to be better here, its getting a little dangerous. The city is wound up all the time, everyone is rushing around trying to make money and it seems most drivers are chronically unhappy. I ride very safe, obey the lights and law of the road, but many motorists seem completely embittered at cyclists, regardless of your riding habits. I honestly feel its a little like how a caged animal might feel when one in the wild cruises past, totally free and unencumbered in a car, mired in high payments and insanely high costs to drive.

  18. K-ro : I guess the way to look at this is that you dont have to lose you self you're paying as much taxes as other users of the road.

    I seriously cannot imagine a city full of SUV's..that would be choking. Do you have bike trails or something that can keep you away from the road?

  19. I'd easily be into my third month of every weekend racing if it was last year. This year I've only done two weekends each month since February.
    I travel regularly on a highway that is full of beach traffic. Major dip in traffic on that front as well.
    Every day riding...meh, still have knuckleheads.

  20. I've been trying to drive less. Have a tough dilemma though. Love to commute by bike for many reasons, but also love to race...which involves a lot of travel.

  21. Ron, this provides some more context on the role of "paper" in oil prices.

    "Never mind that speculators have been caught shortselling oil (ie betting on a fall in prices) more than a few times in recent months. Never mind that spot oil prices, which require actual physical deliveries of oil at the end of each month, have behaved the same way as paper futures. Never mind that oil storage seems to not be increasing.

    Nope, it is just too convenient, too irresistible and, let's say it, too comfortable an excuse that speculators are to blame. It's not our fault, we have our scapegoat. Our price increases are temporary, we'll soon be back to "normal" lower prices, as soon as (take your pick) speculators have been punished/oil companies are taxed for their profiteering/"fundamentals" are left to set prices.
    " The article continues with the many good reasons why the price of oil continues to rise.

  22. Fritz : I read the oil drum occasionally. I'm not sure what the background of the author is but all those neat graphs and information is pretty good, sometimes a little hard to believe.


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