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The U.S. Dept. of Energy figure [see at apps1.eere.energy.gov/states/transportation
Consumption in 2010 increased as the economy was starting to rebound. Fuel-efficient automobiles have been around much longer than since 2008, and consumption was relatively flat from 2001 to 2007, indicating the increase in fuel efficiency was offset by an increase in miles driven.
Howell contended that the decrease in revenue from out-of-state drivers paying gasoline tax will be made up by taxes they pay on consumption of food and lodging here.
Decreasing dependence on fossil fuels such as gasoline will not be achieved by lowering the cost of the fuel, or the taxes on that fuel. The price of gasoline with the added tax will help discourage consumption. In the meantime, the people using the gasoline will be subsidizing the transportation budget. Those who choose a green lifestyle by living where they work or by driving a hybrid automobile, and retired folks, will be contributing their fair share to transportation revenue, not an inflated share derived from additional sales taxes they will have to pay. If the transportation budget needs funding beyond gasoline tax revenue, then it will have to be subsidized with other tax revenue, but it should not be funded entirely from non-gasoline tax sources. Tax revenue from non-gasoline taxes will be enough of a burden paid by people who use little of this fossil fuel.
Stephen W. Fuller