WASHINGTON – Faced with gas prices nearing $4 per gallon and the heavy summer driving months ahead, households are expected to spend $2,300 more on gas this year than seven years ago, according to a new report released today by the Campaign for America’s Future.
Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage said that the all-time high in gas prices shouldn’t surprise anyone because big oil companies wrote President Bush’s energy policy and the war in Iraq has driven up prices around the world.
“For seven years, Bush’s policies have completely failed to protect our nation’s energy security,” said Borosage. “While oil company profits are the highest in history, people across the country are paying the price at the pump. With everyday costs on the rise, Americans are under the most economic pressure in recent history.”
The report also provides state-specific evidence that the economy is in dire straits and that American families are hurting. It provides detailed information about state job losses and stagnant wages, and shows energy, health care and college tuition costs on the rise. States experiencing the most economic difficulties are Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Maine and Tennessee.
# # #
**NOTE: An electronic copy of the report is available at www.ourfuture.org.**
GAS PRICE INCREASE
The annualized cost of gasoline per household is computed by multiplying three figures.
–The average number of vehicles per household in both 2001 and 2008: 1.9
[Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Admin., Transportation Energy Consumption Surveys]
–The average number of gallons consumed in a year: 573 in 2001 and 597 in 2008
[Source: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Highway Admin., Annual Vehicle Distance Traveled in Miles and Related Data.]
–The average price per gallon: $1.47 for 2001 (which is $1.78 adjusted to today’s dollar) and $3.80 today
[Source: Oil Price Information Service in cooperation with Wright Express, distributed by AAA.]
In 2001, (1.9 vehicles) x (573 gallons per vehicle) x ($1.47 per gallon) = $1,600.39
2001 adjusted for inflation, (1.9 vehicles) x (573 gallons per vehicle) x ($1.78 per gallon)= $1,937.89
In 2008, (1.9 vehicles) x (597 gallons per vehicle) x ($3.80 per gallon) = $4,310.34
Difference from 2001 to 2008 = $2,709.95
Difference from 2001 to 2008 adjusted for inflation = $2,372.45
In sum, “more than $2,300” is a very conservative figure.
ECONOMIC INSECURITY REPORT
–MICHIGAN: Michigan’s number one ranking in economic pressures reveals America’s shrinking industrial base. The state has high unemployment and the largest decline per capita in both manufacturing jobs and construction jobs.
–NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina’s high ranking also stems from a decline in industry. It has the fourth highest decrease in goods-producing jobs and third highest decrease in manufacturing since 2000. North Carolinians also suffer problems with health care coverage. Thirteen percent fewer people in North Carolina got health care through their employers in 2006 than in 2000 and nine percent spend more than a quarter of their income on health care.
–OHIO: Ohio’s ranking is the result of low wages and high costs. Wages increased only two percent since 2000, and more than one in ten construction jobs has been lost. Public college tuition in Ohio has increased by more than 62 percent over the same period. A year of state college now costs 20 percent of a median Ohio family’s income.
More state-specific data is available at www.ourfuture.org.