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Old 10-11-2008, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
Matt Herring
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US Petroleum Consumption vs. Price Per Barrel

Thought this graph was interesting as it depicts US Petro Consumption over a 35 year period including cost per barrel over that same time (graph is attached to this post).

The current prevailing theory on most mainstream media outlets is that as prices per barrel increase Americans will in turn cut back on fuel consumption to counteract the price...WRONG...at least according to this graph. According to the graph only in times of extreme pricing or gas shortage do we Americans reduce our fuel consumption (oil embargo, war x2). Clearly, we don't care how much gas costs...we're buying it more and more every year.

Regardless of price (high or low), Americans have continued to increase consumption of petro for the past 20 years. I'd be interested to see this chart in 10-15 years to see how it plays out (based on current gas prices and the proliferation of EV's and PHEV's in coming years). IMO, while extreme global situations often stress the economy, families pocketbooks, etc. they do encourage progress and I believe our current "mess" will have some positive effects on progress within the energy industry (i.e. changing the way people think about fuel economy and energy independence...Personally, I wouldn't have searched for ways to cut my own fuel consumption and found ecomodder if gas wasn't $3+ a gallon...glad I'm on board)!

Please do not interpret this as me condoning or applauding war, global unrest, etc. Simply providing statistical info. with non-political comment while hoping the good ole' USA pulls our bootstraps up and learns something from our current situation.

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