Streams

Average Fuel Spending Drops, but We Still Use a Lot of It

Thursday, November 04, 2010 - 05:29 PM

(Washington, D.C. -- Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) Drivers across the country spent a lower percentage of their income on gasoline in 2009 than in 2008, according to an analysis out today from the Natural Resources Defense Council. That shouldn't be a surprise, considering the spike in oil prices in 2008.

But there are still several states where gas purchases eat up more than five percent of household income on average. And NRDC says that in two states--Mississippi and Montana--gasoline consumption accounted for more than six percent. In Montana the average household spent $2,066.58 on gas in 2009, the nation's highest dollar figure. Typical Mississippians spent $1,910.75 but led the nation in terms of income percentage spent on gasoline. Chalk up the difference to low mean incomes in Mississippi, which ranks among the poorest states in the nation.

Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Kentucky round out the list of states where gas consumption took up more than 5% of average household income in 2009. Meanwhile the higher-income states of the Northeast were at the bottom of the list. Drivers in New York spent a national low of $1,229.16 on gas, though Connecticut had the lowest household income share at just 2.56%.

You won't be surprised to read that NRDC, a leading environmental group takes these results as a clarion call for less dependence on fossil fuels. The group points out that only three states--California, Massachusetts, and Oregon--have their own low-carbon fuel standards. The twelve states with renewable fuel standards are primarily those with functioning ethanol industries. Only 19 states have growth management, or "smart growth" laws designed to manage transportation and land use in growing suburbs, according to NRDC.

Tags:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [1]

Kari

I find this short article funny. Ok did these people doing this consumptions study also look at the fact that most of these states produce the vast majority of our nations food. So, yes they are going to be driving more to get you your corn, wheat, tomatoes, whatever it be. I believe smart growth is great, however it still needs to be balanced with the fact that our food doesn't just come from the grocery store. Thus EPA, and NRDC need to be cautious or they will shoot themselves in the foot when they have to pay $6 for gov. subsidized head of lettuce.

Nov. 09 2010 01:31 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored