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US drivers in SUV gas-guzzling buying
Reuters Environmental News Service ^ | 12/07/2001

Posted on 12/07/2001 9:42:21 AM PST by cogitator

US drivers in SUV gas-guzzling buying spree

NEW YORK - U.S. drivers are buying gasoline at a feverish clip despite the nation's recession, due largely to low pump prices and an autumn buying rush for gas-guzzling SUVs, analysts said this week.

"Americans are driving more in less-efficient vehicles," automobile expert Mike Lucky of John S. Herold Inc. said. "Sales of SUVs and pickup trucks have been amazingly strong considering the recession, and low pump prices are keeping people on the roads."

Gasoline consumption for November averaged about 8.6 million barrels per day, up nearly 3 percent from last year, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), despite a recession.

The robust gasoline demand comes amid a steep drop in retail pump prices to two-year lows of $1.12 a gallon and amid a dramatic increase in sales of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks - some of the least fuel-efficient automobiles on the market.

Bargain financing deals by big automakers have helped push sales of SUVs and light pickup trucks 13.7 percent higher than last year for the month of November, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Meanwhile, half of the 20 best-selling automobiles so far this year have been trucks or SUVs, including the mammoth GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram pickup, according to data reported by automakers.

"The rate of purchase for new fuel inefficient vehicles is far outpacing the rate of retirement for older automobiles," said Lucky. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the number of vehicles on the road grew by 5.2 million between 1999 and 2000.

In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that Americans' love affair with gas-guzzling SUVs reduced the average fuel mileage of all 2001 model year vehicles to 20.4 miles per gallon, the lowest in two decades.

The trend could become a curse to the the nation's energy infrastructure, which over the past two years struggled desperately to overcome regional fuel shortages due to refinery and pipeline outages.

"The lowest fuel economy since 1980 can be attributed to the increase in light trucks on America's roads," the EPA said in a statement. "Light trucks are less fuel efficient."

The current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, first adopted by Congress in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo, require passenger cars to average 27.5 miles per gallon and light trucks to average 20.7 mpg. At the time, light trucks were allowed to get lower mileage because they were used mostly by farmers and small businesses.

If auto manufacturers increased fuel economy by as little as three miles per gallon, consumers would save as much as $25 billion a year in fuel costs, the EPA said.

That modest increase in fuel efficiency, the agency said, would also reduce 140 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year and cut the United States' reliance on foreign oil by 1 million barrels of oil each day - a boon as heightened tensions in the Mideast raise fears of a disruption in crude supply.

Senate Democrats introduced a broad energy bill this week that seeks, in part, to boost vehicle fuel efficiency but said that any change could not take effect until the 2004 model year is introduced.

The legislation does not set specific fuel mileage requirements for vehicles. That language will be added to the bill after the Senate Commerce Committee approves a new standard, they said.


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Fight terrorism -- don't buy an SUV.

Is this any different than rubber rationing and victory gardens during WWII?

1 posted on 12/07/2001 9:42:21 AM PST by cogitator
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To: cogitator
How left wing of you.
2 posted on 12/07/2001 9:45:28 AM PST by JohnGalt
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To: cogitator
This thread makes me want to go for a long ride in my Suburban.
3 posted on 12/07/2001 9:46:12 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: cogitator
I think I'll take a nice long Sunday drive.
4 posted on 12/07/2001 9:47:13 AM PST by Hillary 666
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To: cogitator
US drivers in SUV gas-guzzling buying

by: Reuters Environmental News Service

Doesn't Reuters have primarily a UK roots?

BTW, the fuel efficiency of these vehicles is the HIGHEST they have ever been owing to a wide range of technological advencements including PORT fuel injection, Electronic fuel and ignition control systems and MORE light-weight composites being used ...

5 posted on 12/07/2001 9:48:35 AM PST by _Jim
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To: Hillary 666
I think I will take my '85 gas guzzling Dodge out for a long drive this weekend. Anybody who don't like it can kiss my Rebel flag on the back window. :)
6 posted on 12/07/2001 9:49:24 AM PST by ohioman
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To: cogitator
I think people value comfort, safety, and power over economy. That's why we buy big trucks and SUV's. Try taking a long trip with the family in a subcompact.
7 posted on 12/07/2001 9:52:57 AM PST by 38special
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To: JohnGalt
I'm all for V-8s and tailfins for all real Americans!

-Dakota PU V-8!

8 posted on 12/07/2001 9:53:17 AM PST by gunnyg
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To: ohioman
When I floor my 4x4 you can see the gas gauge move. Maybe I'll tow the boat and burn some gas in the water this week end. I love cheap gas.
9 posted on 12/07/2001 9:53:37 AM PST by ar10
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To: cogitator
Fight terrorism -- don't buy an SUV.

How about YOU don't buy an SUV and keep your nose out of my business?

10 posted on 12/07/2001 9:53:51 AM PST by Doodle
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To: ohioman
My dad has an '82 Dodge. Maybe we'll use his vehicle.
11 posted on 12/07/2001 9:54:07 AM PST by Hillary 666
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To: cogitator
If auto manufacturers increased fuel economy by as little as three miles per gallon, consumers would save as much as $25 billion a year in fuel costs, the EPA said.

No mention of the cost to those consumers to pay for the technology required to meet these unnecessary and arbitrary standards.

What these zany environmentalists don't seem to count on, is that by driving the cost of new cars through the roof, many of us will keep or buy older, emissions-exempt vehicles. Thus the end result of their policies is more pollution, and greater fuel usage.
12 posted on 12/07/2001 9:55:59 AM PST by babyface00
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To: cogitator
Gasoline consumption for November averaged about 8.6 million barrels per day, up nearly 3 percent from last year, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), despite a recession.

Now this IS interesting. Gas prices are down 30 or so percent yet consumption is only up 3 percent! It almost seems like we are not getting sucked into comsuming more.

13 posted on 12/07/2001 9:57:20 AM PST by biblewonk
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To: cogitator
They conviently left out the reduction of jet fuel not being used by these people driving! Duh!
14 posted on 12/07/2001 9:57:22 AM PST by US_MilitaryRules
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To: cogitator
If the envirowackos can put a sock in it, these things can be sold with economical diesels as in the rest of the world,thus pumping up fuel mileage. Soon they will be hybrid versions and all this will be moot. another strategy is to use the right tool for the right job. I have an old 3/4 ton for the heavy stuff, a mid 60's mid size wagon for weekends and car shows, and a 30mpg compact for grocery getting and my wife going to her job. This strategy has significantly cut our fuel consumption. Lastly, make sure tire pressure is on the high end of what's normal for a given application. mileage will go up significantly. In the U.S. real Americans drive what they want to1
15 posted on 12/07/2001 9:59:38 AM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: US_MilitaryRules
Plus the faster we use up that arab oil, the faster they go back to humping camels and killing each other.
16 posted on 12/07/2001 9:59:44 AM PST by US_MilitaryRules
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To: babyface00
The auto safety experts believe that there would be an increase of 1,500 - 3,000 deaths due to the savings in fuel economy of 2-3 mpg. Which do you prefer, death or fuel economy?
17 posted on 12/07/2001 10:00:01 AM PST by ar10
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To: Doodle
Fight terrorism! Run over Osama and his pals!
18 posted on 12/07/2001 10:00:31 AM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: ar10
Since the environuts consider humans to be a blight on the surface of the Earth, what do you think their answer to your question would be?
19 posted on 12/07/2001 10:02:05 AM PST by Cyber Liberty
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To: cogitator
Fight terrorism -- kill terrorists!

That is much more effective.
20 posted on 12/07/2001 10:02:12 AM PST by JacksonCalhoun
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To: cogitator
If auto manufacturers increased fuel economy by as little as three miles per gallon, consumers would save as much as $25 billion a year in fuel costs, the EPA said.

What if I don't particularly pay attention to gas costs? How worked up can I really get over $5 or $6.

There was a survey in the Onion a while back on high fuel prices. It went something like: What do you do when you encounter high prices at the gas pump?

a) Run into the street and scream like a lunatic.
b) Sell you vehicle to the first passerby you see for $1.00.
c) Set yourself on fire as a protest to the rape of the environment and the gouging of the consumer.
d) Briefly glance at the prices on the sign, instantly forget them, fill your tank, go on your way as usual.

21 posted on 12/07/2001 10:02:29 AM PST by Pete
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To: gunnyg
1969 Chevy Custom/10 longbed! 400 small block with 4-barrel, headers & glasspacks!! Woo hoo!

(I am LOVING the cheap gas here in N.C.)

22 posted on 12/07/2001 10:02:44 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: JohnGalt
How left wing of you

Is it left wing to reduce our reliance on oil so that we could tell tyrants, er uh, I mean our "friends" in Saudi Arabia, etc to go to hell?

23 posted on 12/07/2001 10:04:21 AM PST by gdani
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To: cogitator
Delusional bunk for boobs. We have now decades of buy statistics that show no matter what type of car bought, gas consumption does not decrease- it is just either spent on large vehicles or small ones that are driven further. People drive because they like it, and they drive what they do because they like that. Simple, free, democratic.
24 posted on 12/07/2001 10:06:48 AM PST by Leisler
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To: cogitator
Hey, I hate the environmental wacos as much as any of you! However, why should the SUVs get a beak on the milage thing as ordered by the Feds. I think, if they get rated the same as cars, the auto companies would make them smaller and more efficient. The lobbiests in Washington managed to win one for the Auto industry, and they never imagined how popular this SUV thing would get.
25 posted on 12/07/2001 10:08:12 AM PST by philosofy123
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To: cogitator
Enviral terrorists like cogitator? want us to buy yugos and other unsafe vehicles. These unsafe vehicles kill more innocent Americans each year than were mass murdered on 9/11! CARA vehicles are dangerous to Americans at any speed!

There never has been an oil shortage! The enviral terrorists have worked hand in hand with the Opecker Nations to increase our dependence on Opecker Oil. Donations by the Opecker nations to the American envirals buy senators like ChiFi and Boxer and Da$$hole. Then they keep us from drilling for oil in Alaska and the lower 48. If we find more oil, we are less dependent on the Opeckers!

I will fill my Large OJ Simpson Bronco up with cheap gas this weekend to drive around this weekend and drive to and from steelhead fishing next week!

Too make it even more gloomy and sad for those who want to tell us to drive unsafe yugos. The RV industry is going great guns. They are selling the big RVs at an incredible rate. The interest rate is low and gas prices are lower than in years. Go you big RV owners and want to be owners!

Every rental rv in California for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's have been booked since the first of October! In stead of flying people are going by their own rv or rental rvs!

My son and daughter in law will be trading up from their Explorer to a larger and safer SUV. My daughter in law drives with a two year old and 9 month old. They have to have two special car seats and a double stroller. When the seats are in and the stroller, there is no room for passengers and not too many groceries or packages! She and my son want the biggest and safest suv that they can afford to buy!

Screw all of the whiney enviralists on the left and the right! Get your damn yugo's and rice burners out of the left lane. I want to go fishing in my big Bronco!

26 posted on 12/07/2001 10:08:33 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: JacksonCalhoun
Fight terrorism -- kill terrorists!

That is much more effective.

In the short-term, of course, yes. In the long-term, we will be vulnerable to Middle East politics and terrorism as long as we are heavily dependent on Middle East oil imports.

27 posted on 12/07/2001 10:11:15 AM PST by cogitator
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To: 38special
I think people value comfort, safety, and power over economy. That's why we buy big trucks and SUV's.

Have fun flipping over...

28 posted on 12/07/2001 10:12:07 AM PST by ambrose
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To: gdani
'Left wing' to think that not buying an SUV will have some impact, other than alleged symbolic value, on the nation's economic choice to purchase oil.

Your knowledge of economics is laughable, hence Left wing.

29 posted on 12/07/2001 10:12:13 AM PST by JohnGalt
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To: Grampa Dave
I think with the cost of my 4x4 and boat, that the fish I catch cost about $500 a pound. I love cheap gas. Screw the Arabs, lets use up their supply first, after all we print the dollars.
30 posted on 12/07/2001 10:13:16 AM PST by ar10
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To: JohnGalt
How left wing of you.

Is it left-wing of me to think that the U.S. is too dependent on oil imports from the Middle East, and that one of the fastest and effective ways to reduce our dependence on these imports would be to reduce our consumption?

If it is, well, then it's left-wing of me.

31 posted on 12/07/2001 10:16:07 AM PST by cogitator
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To: cogitator
I drive an '86 Mercury Grand Marquis and an '01 Dodge Ram, both with V-8s, and both getting around 17-18 mpg. Boy, do I feel unpatriotic... [Not!]
32 posted on 12/07/2001 10:17:13 AM PST by Sloth
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To: 38special
I think people value comfort, safety, and power over economy. That's why we buy big trucks and SUV's. Try taking a long trip with the family in a subcompact

Hell, if all you care is about size and comfort, why not cart your family around in a camper?

33 posted on 12/07/2001 10:17:25 AM PST by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: ar10
I saw that somewhere too, but I can't find it now. Do you have a link, I wanna send it to my tree hugging sister.
34 posted on 12/07/2001 10:18:17 AM PST by m1911
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To: cogitator
Is it left-wing of me to think that the U.S. is too dependent on oil imports from the Middle East, and that one of the fastest and effective ways to reduce our dependence on these imports would be to reduce our consumption?

I'm with ya.

35 posted on 12/07/2001 10:18:39 AM PST by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: philosofy123
Hey, I hate the environmental wacos as much as any of you! However, why should the SUVs get a beak on the milage thing as ordered by the Feds. I think, if they get rated the same as cars, the auto companies would make them smaller and more efficient. The lobbiests in Washington managed to win one for the Auto industry, and they never imagined how popular this SUV thing would get.

Once again, the liberals succeed in dividing the nation. "Fairness" over the distribution of tyranny! Is it conceiveable that perhaps the government shouldn't be involved in setting mandatory, expensive-to-accomodate fuel economy standards? If they'd get their noses out of our lives, that would be the biggest break imaginable!
36 posted on 12/07/2001 10:19:13 AM PST by babyface00
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To: cogitator
'Left wing' to think that not buying an SUV will have some impact, other than alleged symbolic value, on the nation's economic choice to purchase oil.

Then we are agreed.

37 posted on 12/07/2001 10:20:09 AM PST by JohnGalt
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To: m1911
It was in the Wall Street Journal. Good luck with the Tree Hugger, they don't take kindly to cold hard facts.
38 posted on 12/07/2001 10:20:41 AM PST by ar10
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To: ar10
Gee you get by cheap at $500/pound!

As a fly fisher who tries to catch native whatevers, I release most of my fish. My mean old wife figures that when I finally catch and kill a hatchery trout/steelhead or salmon, it cost us about $1,000/pound. However, she keeps buying me more fly fishing gear!

When I got back into fly fishing years ago. She bought me a new rod and reel from my mentor/guru in Oregon. She rolled her eyes at the cost and made some comment. My guru said that fly fishing is expensive but sure beats the costs of some other alternatives! Since then, she buys the gear, moans and then say that I'm not fishing enough!

39 posted on 12/07/2001 10:21:22 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: cogitator
Is it left-wing of me to think that the U.S. is too dependent on oil imports from the Middle East, and that one of the fastest and effective ways to reduce our dependence on these imports would be to reduce our consumption?

If that's left wing...then count me in.

I also support drilling in Alaska and off the coast of Floriduh.
40 posted on 12/07/2001 10:24:28 AM PST by wheezer
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To: babyface00
One of the reasons that SUV'S became popular was due the average fleet fuel economy standards set by the Feds. People couldn't buy station wagons or large cars with V8's as they would ruin the fleet average of the manufacturer. Trucks were exempt from this standard. Hey presto, the manufacturers made comfortable trucks with V8's. If the Feds had never been involved with fleet consumption averages the SUV might never have become so popular.
41 posted on 12/07/2001 10:26:06 AM PST by ar10
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To: cogitator
I have a 1500 Suburban (4x4) and a 2500 Suburban (4x4). Let me see which one I want to take on a road trip this weekend...Hmmmmmmmm
42 posted on 12/07/2001 10:26:06 AM PST by just looking
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To: Grampa Dave
Bone fish caught on the fly run about $1,500 a pound when you add the cost of travel and accomadation. $500 will get a pound of striped bass.
43 posted on 12/07/2001 10:28:38 AM PST by ar10
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To: lady lawyer
Me, You and Tony Soprano all drive Suburbans. These little pr*cks can take their Honda Civics and drive off the face of the earth as far as I'm concerned.
44 posted on 12/07/2001 10:28:42 AM PST by oyez
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: wheezer
I don't think its left-wing to support ways to reduce U.S. effectiveness on foreign oil imports.

I do think its left-wing to think this can be accomplished with arbitrary, expensive government mandates that seek to force people to purchase against their will. I especially think its left wing to force people to compromise the safety of themselves and their families so that they can save a couple of gallons of gasoline every couple weeks.
46 posted on 12/07/2001 10:30:15 AM PST by babyface00
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To: cogitator
I am going to upgrade from my 5500 lb Expetition to an 8200 lb V10 Excursion. It's my money.
47 posted on 12/07/2001 10:30:29 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Dataman
Small request to you SUV guys (and gals): Would you mind collectively not parking by me in the parking lot? I park out in the middle of nowhere because I can't see around you guys backing out of the parking spot (I have a Sebring Convertible).

Inevitably, I'll come out of the store and find an SUV (or minivan) has decided it needs to keep my car company and I'll have to slowly creep out of the spot until half my car is in the middle of the lot before I can see around the darn thing. I don't get it. Do SUVs get lonely if they're not parked next to short, long sporty cars?
48 posted on 12/07/2001 10:34:30 AM PST by babyface00
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To: cogitator
Dammit! already put my 12MPG '74 Charger up for the winter... guess I'll have to put her back on the road (can't let the SUV's burn ALL the gas!)
49 posted on 12/07/2001 10:36:38 AM PST by LIBERTARIAN JOE
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To: babyface00
I won't park next to you if you will concede the a Sebring is not a sports car.
50 posted on 12/07/2001 10:37:09 AM PST by ar10
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