By San Francisco Business Times

Gasoline consumption fell 2.2 percent in July in California as prices rose, according to the State Board of Equalization.

No one whoâ¿¿s taken Economics 1 will likely be surprised by this evidence of the invisible hand at work. But Jerome Horton, chairman of the Board of Equalization, said other factors have also contributed to the decrease in gas use.

⿿Californians have cut back on gasoline consumption,⿝ Horton said. ⿿However, in addition to high gas prices, economic uncertainty and use of more energy efficient cars are also likely factors.⿝

In July, Californiaâ¿¿s gasoline use was 1.25 billion gallons, down from 1.27 billion gallons a year earlier. The average price of a gallon of gas, meanwhile, had gone up to $3.84, 21 percent higher than the $3.17 an average gallon cost a year earlier.

Diesel, however, was a different story. Though the cost of a gallon of diesel was up, on average, 99 cents from July to July, hitting $4.11 this summer, usage also went up by 1.9 percent, to 223 million gallons.

Chairman Horton represents the BOEâ¿¿s fourth district, covering Los Angeles County. The San Francisco Bay Area, part of the first district, is represented by Betty Yee.

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