Kentucky Ranks Fourth in Gas Prices Guzzling Personal Income

Drivers in Kentucky spend more than eight percent of their income on gasoline according to a new report published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). That percentage ranks the Commonwealth fourth in the nation in percent of income spent on gas, behind Mississippi, West Virginia, and South Carolina.

"Solutions to reducing consumer gasoline bills do exist, but not without help from both state and federal governments," the report said. "Each state needs to adopt measures that promote efficient vehicles, smart growth, and transit, while the federal government must provide effective policies that reduce oil dependence in the United States through delivering more clean vehicle, fuel, and transportation options to consumers who deserve no less."

The study, which sought to rank states based on their dependence on oil, found that residents of rural states tend to pay a much higher percentage of their personal income on gasoline than those who live in more densely populated states. The NRDC report finds that oil dependence affects drivers in all states, but it hits some harder than others. Drivers in every state paid a higher percentage of their income for gas in 2011 than in 2010. Drivers in 42 states were affected more in 2011 by gas costs than during the previous peak of vulnerability in 2008. And on the state level, some states are pioneers in reducing oil dependence, but many states are taking few meaningful steps, the NRDC report stated.

“The truth is, we must continue fighting to reduce our dependence on oil,” said Deron Lovaas, NRDC’s federal transportation policy director. “Whether it’s by states advancing public transit, clean fuels and smart growth, or by the government supporting development of advanced vehicles and actions that save oil, more steps must be taken to end an addiction that harms our wallets, economy and environment."

Check out the full report: NRDC