By John Ostapkovich

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Congress is bitterly divided over how to lower the price of gas, but an environmental group says they’re wasting their time.

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A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council finds that the average Pennsylvanian drives more than 8,700 miles a year, leading to pain at the pump. The NRDC’s Deron Lovass says there’s no market-based solution to the price.

As for “drill, baby, drill”, he says it’s a pipe-dream, “Given a global oil marketplace that consumes between 80 and 90 million barrels of oil daily.  We just can’t produce enough to make a dent in a globally-determined price.  However, we consumer about 20% of the world’s oil annually and we can do something about that consumption.”

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In an 80-90 million barrel-a-day world oil trade, he says US drilling won’t make a dent, but US consumers do — in auto showrooms.

“Sales are up and fuel efficiency is driving those sales, so people are actually trading in their cars for more efficient products that are increasingly available in the marketplace. And, public transportation ridership is the highest it’s been in the last 50 years.”

Your choices only go so far, says Lovass, because there’s so little choice in fuel. Orange juice too pricey? Drink grape or cranberry. Oil too pricey? Tough luck!

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