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California gasoline consumption rose in August

November 30, 2010 | 12:20 pm

California gasoline consumption showed a slight increase in August compared with the same month a year earlier, the state's Board of Equalization said in a news release Tuesday. But the consumption results have yet to reveal a definitive pattern, a review of the year's statistics showed.

Monthly consumption trailed the previous year's results in January, March, May and July, but showed an increase over 2009 figures in February, April, June and August.

Still, gasoline consumption in the state has changed significantly since the period between March 2008--the year when prices reached all time record levels--and January of this year. During that period monthly gasoline consumption declined 18 out of 23 times, including one period between March 2008 and May 2009, when the decline went on for 14 straight months.

In August, California's consumed just under 1.3 billion gallons of gasoline, up less than 2% over the same month the year before. That is still short of the peak for that late summer driving season month of nearly 1.4 billion gallons set in August 2005.

The state's Board of Equalization monitors gasoline consumption through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. The figures can be viewed by year, calendar quarter and by month at

--Ronald D. White