Saturday, November 19, 2011
Consumers are no longer responding to price increases as they did in the late 1970s, when many drove less and bought more fuel-efficient cars, says author Skip Laitner, who analyzed U.S. government data. When prices hit $4 in 2008, he says, demand for gas fell only 3%.
Middle-class workers simply don't have alternatives, says Laitner, an economist at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. He says many moved to distant suburbs when gas prices were lower and can't afford now to move, buy a more efficient car or switch jobs. Also, he says many lack access to public transportation...
Lisa Margonelli, the foundation's director of energy policy. Her team surveyed a representative sample of 2,000 Americans...She says the average family of four now spends more on driving than on health insurance or taxes.
We don't have to keep on like this. We can strip oil of its strategic status. The Open Fuel Standard is the most important first step. If you want to help, start here.