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Gasoline use in decline

Posted: July 30, 2009 10:25 p.m.
Updated: July 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Gasoline consumption statewide dropped between March and April, showing a continuing decline in fuel use among Californians over the past three years, state officials announced Thursday.

The Board of Equalization attributes the trend, which began about the time gas prices reached $3 a gallon, to the recession.

"We have seen a continued decline in consumption despite the fact fuel prices have been on the decline for the last several months," said Board of Equalization spokeswoman Anita Gore. "The economy certainly is a contributing factor."

In March, Californians used 1.28 billion gallons of gasoline. They used 1.25 billion gallons in April - 30 million gallons less.

Crude oil prices, meanwhile, have proven unstable, dropping 6 percent on Wednesday then rebounding on Thursday.

Some Santa Clarita Valley residents at the pumps Thursday afternoon said they've tried to cut out any unnecessary driving.

"I feel like I'm using less gas," said Jennifer Habell, of Canyon Country, who recently traded in her old Chevy Tahoe for a more fuel-efficient car. "I'm driving less. We're not eating out as much, so we're not driving anywhere."

Jenna Werther, of Valencia, however, said she hasn't done much at all to change her habits - except for one thing.

"I just try not to look at the gas prices," she said, grinning sheepishly.


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