The Oil Drum: New York City

Helping New Yorkers understand, prepare and adapt to the implications of Peak Oil

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

State Per Capita Gas Consumption

While the entire country seems obsessed with gas prices, no seems to be really curtailing their consumption. Ianqui writes about this topic in some of her recent posts over at the Oil Drum, including one that has some bright spots. Everyday I read something different about how people are coping with the high gas prices - mostly cutting back on their expenses in other areas and using easy credit. The overall cost of gas to the nation or individual (and the overall economic impact) is a function price times consumption. Since we have no control over prices, let's take a look at the consumption side of the equation.

Unfortunately consumption data seems much harder to find than price data. Today I have done some digging on the state level gas consumption from a report that the California State government did this year. On a per capita basis NY State consumes the least amount of gas (297 gallons/capita) than any other state. Washington DC consumes even less (214 gallons/capita). NY consumes less than half of what Oklaholma and Wyoming consume per person. Still there is much work to be done. Many European countries have even lower consumption rates than NY.

What the chart really shows is just how dependent on fossil fuels suburban and rural parts of the country are compared to urban areas. This confirms my thinking that areas that are well served by mass transit and commuter rail links will probably fare much better as gas prices continue to climb. If anyone can send me something about the relationship between population density and gas consumption, I would appreciate it.

Finally, after about a month of running peakoilnyc, I will have some major changes coming to the site sometime next week which I am going to keep a surprise until everything is set-up off line. I believe that it is a natural evolution for this site and will further the cause of integrating the various local, national, international websites collaborating on how to best inform and prepare people everywhere for the implications of peak oil. Stay tuned.

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At 10:21 AM, Blogger Ianqui said...

Wow. Once again I'm proud to be a New Yorker.

(Goodness. Who was I to try to deny my destiny? I grew up somewhere between here and Albany, and while my childhood was fine, I never really wanted to live in the state again. Who was I kidding?)

At 10:59 PM, Blogger AD said...

New York's status as having the lowest per capita gasoline consumption is entirely due to the fact that half the state's population lives in transit-blessed New York City. You make NYC its own state, and the rest of New York State suddenly looks like the rest of the country.

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