Doing With Less Oil

Recession and revulsion at BP are doing what many thought not possible:  getting Americans to use less gasoline per person per day.  From Political Calculations:

Monthly Average Gallons of Finished Oil Products Supplied per United States Resident per Day, January 1982 through March 2010 The chart to the right reveals what we found when we took the U.S. Energy Information Agency’s figures for the average number of thousands of barrels of Finished Petroleum Products Supplied to the U.S. per day, converted those figures to the equivalent number of U.S. gallons, then divided that result by the number of people within the United States, as measured by the U.S. Census’ Resident Population Estimate for each month from January 1982 through March 2010 (we found that data in two places – here it is for between April 1980 through November 2000, and for April 2000 through the present).

What we find is that since January 1982, the average daily oil consumption for individual Americans living in the United States has averaged 2.56 gallons per person. More remarkably, we see that Americans have dramatically reduced their consumption of oil and its derivative products since July 2007.

So dramatically, in fact, that Americans today are consuming roughly one-third of a gallon per person less than they did on average from January 1982 through November 2007, the last full month before the largest recession in the U.S. since World War II began. As of March 2010, Americans are consuming an average 2.28 gallons of oil per day.

That drop has occurred even as the resident population of the United States steadily increased throughout this period.