Do you know anybody who doesn’t want better gas mileage? I don’t. But, apparently only 73 percent of those surveyed by the Consumer Federation of America want that. Or will admit to it.

And auto makers have not met the demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles, according to the survey.

CFA says auto makers won’t build greener cars until Congress passes legislation stipulating a standard of at least 35 miles per gallon. I venture to say that if consumers stopped buying gas guzzling cars, auto makers would suddenly see the light, even if there were no law.

The percentage of Americans concerned about dependence on foreign oil stands at 60 percent.

Still, consumers spent $600 more on gas so far this year, as compared with first quarter 2002, CFA announced.

I don’t think it’s a matter of people not caring or not wanting to save on gas and oil. It may be a matter of not having a choice. Most folks have to go to work and in most cases that means commuting. If you live in an area without good public transportation you don’t have an alternative.

And as the economy slows down people may choose to keep their inefficient cars rather than buy a new car or go into debt to get one.

Note: On behalf of CFA, the Opinion Research Corporation interviewed 1,004 Americans the first week of April this year.

April 21, 2008.