KBB survey says consumers still mindful of gas prices

The fact that gas prices keep sinking has been both a relief and a horror for many of us. It obviously takes a big strain off your budget, but in the grander scheme it also seems to move the discussion focus away from alternative fuels and high-mileage vehicles as witnessed by both J.D. Power and online car buying sites.

With gas prices now on a 10-month low, Kelley Blue Book released the results of their own study done in conjunction with Harris Interactive. On the surface, their analysis found that many Americans in general still seem to be concerned about gas prices and oil consumption.

While 46 percent said that America's national energy policy should require automakers to increase their corporate average fuel economy (CAFE), the study revealed divisions of thought along lines defined by age. Among those who are 55 or older, 86 percent feel that the government should enforce higher average fuel economies from vehicle manufacturers, 71 percent think we should drill for more oil in the U.S. and 63 percent believe we need to increase our usage of nuclear power. From the 18 to 24 age group, 80 percent think that the government needs to provide funding to energy companies for the research and development of alternative fuels and 79 percent believe federal funding should be provided to automakers to pursue "emerging technologies."

The obvious question seems to be whether or not the link between gas prices and public concern of oil consumption is directly related or if the recent drop in concern is just an effect of a smaller group of "sway voters." Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst at KBB.com, believes that despite the drop in gas prices, Americans see oil consumption as a long-term issue in the country's thought framework that needs to be addressed by the government. However, is it still too soon to draw a reasonable conclusion? It's unclear just what a gallon of unleaded will look like in the coming months, but here's to hoping that Jack Nerad is right about the public's concern over oil consumption and the environment.

[Source: Kelley Blue Book]

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