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EIA: US gasoline consumption hit all-time high in 2016

Consumption of motor gasoline in the US hit an all-time high in 2016, reaching 9.327 million barrels per day, up 1.6% from 2015 and exceeding the prior peak of 9.286 million barrels per day in 2007, according to revised figures in the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Monthly Energy Review.

Early in 2016, EIA had projected that US gasoline consumption would remain below the 2007 peak despite an increase in travel, attributing that expected outcome largely to improvements in light-duty vehicle fuel economy.

Petroleum products supplied by type (million barrels per day). Source: EIA. Click to enlarge.

Moving 12-month total of vehicle miles travelled on all US highways. (Billion miles). Source: US DOT. Click to enlarge.



Total distance travelled in 200/2008 and 2016 was not very different. Higher fuel consumption must have been largely due to heavier less efficient ICEVs?


I see pickups and large SUVs every day getting a bag of groceries. Some Americans are wasteful, it is past time they pay the real price.


I can't think of a better example of conspicuous consumption than Donald Trump's private jet. How much of America's trade deficit could be reduced by eliminating foreign oil imports through conservation and developing fuel efficient technologies? Most of those efficient technologies like hybridization and electrification could be developed, and produced domestically and very likely exported.

Economists used to believe that there was a direct correlation between petroleum consumption and economic growth, however, I believe that some are starting to recognize a decoupling between the two. Certainly my anecdotal observations would support that. For instance, solo commutes in a prius consume about 1/3 the fuel as commutes in an F150 yet produce the same economic benefits. I certainly see lots of F150's that appear to have never seen a gravel road. Similarly Trump could stay in Washington and take in a baseball game rather than flying to his Florida retreat and probably the only difference to the economy is that far less petroleum would be consumed.

On the other hand I suspect that American oil producing technology is being exported around the world and possibly the benefits of exporting that technology outweigh the benefits of conservation, but it would be possible to have both. Simply have to find a way to encourage gluttony abroad while promoting conservation at home.


We sell more than ONE million pickups in America each year, less than 10% of them do actual work. If you don't have a company with a commercial license you better have a REAL good reason to buy one.

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