Current gas consumption is 8 MBD, excluding the ethanol addition. While the current recession is one reason for Americans driving less - don't expect demand to increase when the economy improves. Unlike traditional times when prices fell with demand, the world's developing economies will make up for the drop in sales to developed nations, and then some.
"But while fuel consumption has rebounded in the past, experts says this time it's different: demand has dropped for good."
"A combination of demographic change and policy change means the heady days of gasoline growing in the U.S. are over," says Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates."
But the experts have proven wrong before.
From AP: US gas demand should fall for good after '06 peak: "Sometimes what we think is a structural shift is really just a temporary phase," says Antoine Halff, an analyst at the brokerage firm Newedge. "U.S. demand has rebounded with a vengeance before."
Thanks to Gladwyn d'Souza