Monday, September 7, 2009

Can Californians get out of their cars, trucks, and SUVs?

The Green Machine is sorry to report some not very good news from the Golden State. Even with massive unemployment, in the once Golden State, gasoline consumption in May 2009 exceeded that of May 2008. I hope this extra driving is because folks are looking for work and not simply because the price of gasoline this summer is lower than last year. The sales of diesel are however way down from last year to this. Diesel consumption is the most accurate indicator of economic activity as the Californian economy moves on trucks. Imports move on trucks, produce moves on trucks, autos move on trucks, and garbage moves on trucks.

The following is the statement from the California Board of Equalization on August 31, 2009
Old Betty Yee who is the Chairwoman of the Board had to put a spin on the data. The diesel data show a dismal economy. The gasoline sales were up in May from April as May has 31 days versus 30 in April and that equals 3.3% right there.

If I was the Chairwoman I would have said the economy stinks but the average motorist paid 37% less per gallon of gasoline and even though the equity in their homes is nearly worthless they took to the roads in droves to look for treasure troves.

Betty T. Yee, Chairwoman of the Board of Equalization (BOE), today announced that California gasoline consumption rose in May, while diesel fuel continued to decline.
“We’re in an uncertain time,” said Chairwoman Yee. “While more fuel efficient cars and trucks are increasing fuel economy – and in light of some of the recently improved economic statistics – consumers remain cautious in their spending as the economy continues toward an uncertain recovery.”
Figures released today show that gasoline consumption rose by 3.5 percent from April, and was 0.6 percent higher than a year ago. Diesel consumption declined by 4.8 percent from April, and was 7.0 percent lower than a year ago.
May 2009 gasoline sold for use on California roads totaled 1.29 billion gallons of gasoline, which was 0.6 percent above that of May 2008, when Californians consumed a total of 1.28 billion gallons of gasoline.
A month to month comparison shows that gasoline consumption rose 3.5 percent in May when Californians consumed a total of 1.29 billion gallons of gasoline, compared with 1.25 billion gallons in April. Historically, May shows an increase over April, in part because of the Memorial Day holiday, which traditionally is the start of the summer when people travel more and consume more fuel.
The average California gasoline price at the pump in May was $2.53 per gallon, a 37.1 percent decline from the average price the same month last year when it was $4.02. Gasoline sold at the lower price in May generated approximately $241 million in sales tax during that month, an estimated $139 million less than was generated last year.
May 2009 diesel fuel sold for use on California roads totaled 209 million gallons of diesel, which is a 7.0 percent decline, or 15.8 million gallons less than May 2008, when Californians consumed a total of 225 million gallons of diesel. A month-to-month comparison shows that diesel consumption declined 4.8 percent in May when Californians consumed a total of 209 million gallons of diesel, compared with 220 million gallons in April.
California diesel prices were $2.35 per gallon in May down 49.6 percent compared to last year, when the average diesel price was $4.67 per gallon.
The BOE is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. Figures for June 2009 are scheduled to be available at the end of September 2009. All monthly, quarterly, and annual figures can be viewed on the BOE website at:
Taxable Gasoline Gallons:
Taxable Diesel Gallons:




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