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Opinion
Justin Fox

The Decline of Fossil Fuels Is Going to Be Expensive

Just because demand for gasoline is headed downward doesn’t mean prices will fall automatically.

U.S. Bans Russian Oil Imports In Response To Continuing Invasion Of Ukraine

Photographer: David Ryder/Getty Images 

Gasoline consumption in the US probably peaked in the years before the pandemic. It’s currently running about 5% below 2016-2019 levels, and with remote work seemingly here to stay, electric-vehicle market share rising rapidly and population growth awfully close to zero — along with shorter-term pressures such as record-high gas prices and a possible recession —  it’s easier to envision more declines than a big rebound.

Here’s weekly gasoline consumption over the past decade, to give a better view of recent dynamics.