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High Gas Prices: The Environment’s Best Friend

Are you driving less than you used to?

As Dubner blogged last week, Americans logged 11 billion fewer miles on the road in March of this year than they did in March 2007. That contributed to a cut of 9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by the U.S. in the first quarter of 2008.

The rise of gasoline prices, coming at a time when most Americans are tightening their belts, has led to a spike in demand for public transit — leading the Philadelphia Inquirer to wonder whether or not the bell is tolling for America’s car culture.

At the very least, the lean economy might make anti-driving incentives, like those in Seattle, more inviting.

Was Levitt right about the benefits of high gas prices after all?