We all have bad habits that we would be better off without. But breaking a bad habit isn’t easy, and we are often more likely to fall right back into that habit rather than quit cold turkey. Our oil addiction seems to be an especially difficult habit to break.
The month of March saw record production for U.S. refineries, putting out an average of 9.3 million barrels of gas every day. That isn’t even half of our daily demand. Demand is up too, even though gas is hovering around $3 a gallon already. And it isn’t even summer yet.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, total gas deliveries were up 3.5 percent over a year ago. 9.2 million barrels of domestically-produced oil were “delivered”, which I assume means they were also used. That is close to the record of 9.6 million barrels delivered in July of 2007… you know, when everyone still had money to spend on Hummers and McMansions. But I suppose looking on the positive side of things, more oil use means more people are out and about, which means maybe the economy really is on the road to recovery. But $4 a gallon gas could easily send us spiraling back into a trouble.
According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gas is $2.859, which is about three cents higher than last week. It is about 80 cents higher than the same time last year though, and here in CT many pumps are registering $2.99 for a gallon of regular. And it is only April! Methinks we haven’t seen peak oil consumption yet in this country, even with electric and plug-in cars coming along. It will take a long time for these vehicles to filter through our society and really start pushing down how much oil we consume. And let’s not forget that there are a lot of used cars out there that don’t get great gas mileage. Maybe a second Cash for Clunkers might not be a bad idea…