The downward trend in driving miles continued into July of this year for the ninth straight month. In what is usually one of the heaviest driving months of the year as families head out on summer road trips, $4 gasoline and the general economic malaise pushed miles down by 3.6 percent, a smaller drop than the five percent reduction in June. This is consistent with the gasoline consumption figures that were also released by the state of California for June and the second quarter of the year. Gasoline consumption was down 7.5 percent for June and 4.8 percent over the three month period. That amounts to a reduction of 191 million gallons for the period. While all of this is good from the perspective of both emissions and energy use, it does pose another problem that needs to be addressed. Funding of road infrastructure comes largely from fuel taxes and reduced mileage and fuel use means less money. New methods of funding must be found because as we move into the era of electrified vehicles, this phenomenon will accelerate. Transportation secretary Mary Peters has proposed a shift away from fuel taxes to tolls, but it's not clear if this is the best approach. What do you think?

[Sources: Reuters, BussinessWire]