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Why we're buying less gasoline

Demand for gasoline has declined in recent years as fuel prices have soared.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: September 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm •  Published: September 5, 2013

Demand for gasoline has tumbled in recent years as fuel prices have soared and the country increasingly has focused on conservation.

The trend should be no surprise as the price of gasoline has doubled within the past decade.

Americans have had a love affair with the car since Henry Ford made personal transportation affordable and commonplace.

Oklahoma became a state less than a year before the Model T began production. Our towns and cities have been shaped by and designed for cars.

As fuel prices climbed steadily in the first half of the past decade, demand continued to jump year after year.

The recession predictably stalled growth, but some experts thought driving would pick up again as the economy recovered.

Instead, a report last week from the Federal Highway Administration shows that total miles driven has held flat. A movement to more fuel-efficient vehicles has caused the total number of gallons purchased throughout the country to fall.

America's love affair with cars may be over.

Just from my own family and the people I talk to, the price of fuel is now much more often considered when making decisions ranging from where to go for summer vacation to choosing which movie theater to visit on a Friday night.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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