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Report: West Virginia Drivers Spend Higher Percentage of Income on Gas

July 24, 2008

Charleston, WV – West Virginians join drivers in Mississippi as those seeing the biggest dents in their wallets because of record-high gas prices. It's documented in a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council that looks at the percentage of income spent in different states on filling up cars and trucks.

Deron Lovaas with the NRDC says the gas price burden varies widely across the country.

"In the states where drivers are paying the highest percentage of their income, those drivers are paying more than twice as much as a percentage of their income as those in the lowest ranking states."

Lovaas says California's "clean cars" legislation is an example of a state-level policy that will help residents spend less on fuel in the years to come.

"This will push more efficient and clean cars and trucks out into the vehicle fleet over time, which will reduce how much consumers have to pay at the pump."

Lovaas says families in Connecticut spend the smallest percentage of income on filling up.

The study also looks at what states are doing to help people spend less on gas, such as encouraging the availability of cars and trucks that get better gas mileage, and expanding public transportation.

The administration of West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin has said those policies are the responsibility of the federal government.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - WV