Region's growth fuels demand for gas.Byline: SHERRI BURI BURI Bastyr University Research Institute (Washington) McDONALD The Register-Guard
As the Pacific Northwest's population grew in the 1990s, so did its thirst for gasoline.
Overall gas consumption in the region - Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
- increased 21 percent in the 10 years ended June 2002, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a study released Wednesday by Seattle-based Northwest Environment Watch.
The Northwest consumes 116 million gallons of gas a week, the nonprofit A corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive.
Nonprofits are also called not-for-profit corporations. Nonprofit corporations are created according to state law. research group found. Oregon, Washington and Idaho slurp up most of it; British Columbia uses only 23 million gallons, or 19 percent of the region's total.
While the Northwest's overall gas consumption rose, per-person consumption in Oregon and Washington dropped slightly, pushing both states below the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. average for the first time, the study found. Oregon's per-capita consumption decreased 1 percent, and Washington's fell 2 percent.
The reductions reflect planning efforts to promote compact growth and transportation initiatives to encourage commuters to get out of their cars, the study's authors concluded. They urged Northwest communities to step up progress in these areas in order to reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas greenhouse gas
Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on oil, the region's most expensive import. They also advocated wider use of more fuel-efficient vehicles as well as initiatives, such as pay-per-mile car insurance, that gives consumers a financial incentive to stay off the roads.
Northwest Environment Watch analyzed Census data and energy consumption data from various government sources.
Washington and Oregon were the only two states in the country with no significant rise in the share of commuters who drove alone to work in the 1990s. Oregon ranks ninth and Washington 10th in the U.S. in the share of people who carpool car·pool
n. also car pool
1. An arrangement whereby several participants or their children travel together in one vehicle, the participants sharing the costs and often taking turns as the driver.
2. , ride transit, walk or bike to work.
The states' largest urban centers posted the lowest rates of commuters driving alone: 58 percent in Seattle and 63 percent in Portland.
But Lane County recorded its own improvements in this area, according to recently released data from the 2000 U.S. Census.
"Lane County stood out as a place that managed to reduce its drive-alone commuting" even without having a large compact, urban core, said Clark Williams-Derry, Northwest Environment Watch's research director.
The percentage of Lane County residents driving alone to work was 71.6 percent in 2000, down from 73.4 percent in 1990. In the county, 12.2 percent carpooled, 5.1 percent worked at home, 4.2 percent walked, 3.3 percent used public transportation and 3 percent rode their bikes. All figures were up from 1990 levels. The local rate of commuting by bike was striking, compared with an Oregon average of 1.1 percent and U.S. average of 0.4 percent.
The progress is attributable to a combination of factors, said Brian Rooney Brian Rooney (c. 1970) is a construction worker who is a suspect (and currently the only suspect), in the abduction and murder of 21-year-old college student Michelle Gardner-Quinn, a senior from the University of Vermont, located in Burlington, Vermont. , a regional economist with the Oregon Employment Department. The Eugene-Springfield area has an extensive bus system and bike path network, and Lane County residents seem more aware of and interested in commuting alternatives, he said.
Northwest Environment Watch's study on gasoline consumption is part of a broader effort the center launched about two years ago to construct an index of leading indicators The Index of Leading Indicators is an American economic index intended to estimate future economic activity. It is calculated by The Conference Board, a non-governmental organization, which determines the value of the index from the values of ten key variables. of the region's environmental and economic vitality. Other indicators will probably include the pace of sprawl, residents' health, community strength and health of natural ecosystems, such as streams and forests, said Alan Durning Alan Thein Durning (born 1964) is the founder and executive director of the Sightline Institute, (formerly Northwest Environment Watch), a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, U.S.. , the group's executive director.
The full report, "Fueling Up: Gasoline Consumption in the Pacific Northwest," is available on the Web at www.northwestwatch.org/press/gas_states.html.