California led the nation in gasoline consumption with 7.65 billion gallons
American vehicles consumed a whopping 71.8 billion gallons of gasoline in the first half of 2016, an increase of 3 percent over the same period a year earlier, according to newly released data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
This is the highest amount on record and the sixth consecutive increase in national gasoline consumption for the six-month period ending on June 30.
The data, reported in the FHWA's Monthly Motor Fuel Reported By States, show that the South Gulf—a region of eight states stretching from Texas to West Virginia—had a 4.1 percent increase, the largest percentage increase of any region in the country.
California led the nation in gasoline consumption with 7.65 billion gallons, followed by Texas at 7.1 billion gallons and Florida at 4.57 billion gallons.
Oklahoma consumed 8.2 percent more gasoline in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2015, topping the list for the state with largest percent increase. Delaware and Utah followed closely with 7.9 percent and 7.2 percent increases, respectively. North Dakota's fuel consumption decreased by 5.9 percent, the largest decrease among the states in that period.
The FHWA analyzes fuel consumption information from the states each month to better understand the changing needs of the American driver.
According to the FHWA, gasoline and diesel consumption data are of significant interest to analysts, given the role they play as contributors to the Highway Trust Fund, which provides funding for highways and interstates nationwide. The data is also indicative of the level of resource consumption and pollution emissions by the transportation sector which, in recent reviews, has been the leading source of greenhouse gasses among all sectors in the United States.
The federal tax rate for gasoline sales is 18.4 cents per gallon and, for diesel, 24.4 cents per gallon. All states levy additional taxes on gasoline and diesel. The gasoline rates vary per state from a low of 8.0 cents per gallon to 50.3 cents, while diesel fuel rates vary from 8 cents to 64 cents per gallon.
The entire 18-year collection of Monthly Motor Fuel Reported by States can be found here.