Winners or Losers from High Oil Prices

I grew up in the South but I never remembered what Paul Krugman noted with this:

DRIVE 70 AND FREEZE A YANKEE. That popular Texas bumper sticker epitomized the bitter regional rivalry of the 1970s, when rising energy prices impoverished the Snow Belt and enriched the Sunbelt.

I recently sold my car and moved to NYC where I take the subway so I’m not as adversely affected by these high gasoline prices. Paul also points us to this:

Drivers in the South have been hit hardest by soaring U.S. gasoline costs and state governments there should take more steps to help cut fuel consumption, said a report released on Tuesday. Average motorists in Mississippi spent nearly 8 percent of their incomes on gasoline in 2007 and drivers in South Carolina and Georgia spent more than 7 percent, according to the report released on Tuesday by environmental group the Natural Resources Defense Council. Meanwhile, drivers in the Northeast spent the least amount of their incomes on fuel with Connecticut motorists paying just over 3 percent. Drivers in New York spent about 3.3 percent and motorists in Massachusetts spent about 3.5 percent … The report, called “Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States’ Oil Vulnerability and Solutions for Change,” ranked the states for their setting of fuel conservation measures like incentives for buying fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, slowing suburban sprawl, and targets for reducing driving … California, New York and Connecticut ranked highest in the report in the number of steps taken to fight consumption.

California is leading the way in reducing gasoline prices? If Los Angeles ever gets a real public transportation system – that would be great news!

The report can be found here and it lists how some states have taken steps to reduce gasoline consumption. Contrary to the comments from some of our rightwing friends, the Democrats have been pushing similar policy measures. Alas, we are not seeing enough support for these measures from the Republican politicians.