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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Increased Demand Raises Prices

The Detroit Free Press finally passes Econ 101. The main headline today?
Who's at fault for gas prices? Partly, it's us
Big autos, longer commutes gobbling up supplies
I mock a little, but it's great to see that headline screaming from the newspaper vending machines around Motown (well, I'm not in Motown, but I'm close). From the article:
Like it or not, we're burning more gas than ever. Consumption has jumped nearly 24 percent since 1990. And the government says we're on track to burn another 48 percent by 2025.

Sure, there are more vehicles on the road. Between 1990 and 2001, the number of registered vehicles grew about 22 percent, according to the federal government. And the miles those vehicles traveled jumped 29 percent.

But the biggest reason consumption has risen so sharply -- after growing at a much slower pace in preceding years -- is parked in many of our driveways: The number of light trucks, especially SUVs, has spiked in the past several years, growing about 74 percent between 1990 and 2001. And since these vehicles consume more gas than passenger cars, they're likely responsible for the record level of fuel use, experts say.
I'm hoping that I bought my last tank of gasoline today. I've been driving an old Toyota pickup, which I am replacing with my biodiesel-powered 2001 VW Golf. I drove the Toyota to the Secretary of State office to get plates for the VW, and nearly ran out of gas. So I filled the tank. Should be a good selling point!