I filled up my car on Wed. this week. I haven’t been paying attention and so was startled to see that gas was nearly $3.50 a gallon. I remember a couple of months ago when the price dropped down under $2.75.
This morning there’s news that oil is expected to pass $106/bbl and that OPEC’s response is that they will not increase the volume they’re extracting – arguing that the rising prices is due to the failing dollar rather than to the law of supply and demand.
This, to me, is just about the best possible news.
America is the world’s largest consumer of imported oil. Clearly we’re going to need to transition from a primarily oil based economy to healthier mix of various energy resources. But as long as oil prices creep up (by shooting up for a few weeks and then dropping down to almost their previous levels) most people haven’t been motivated to start conserving or begin planning to make changes in their lives. But if prices climb and stay high for a long period, people will take notice and start making changes.
It will be hard for the economy and the workforce in the short run. We’re already seeing the pain that increased commuting costs are creating in the outer suburbs here in Phoenix. But perhaps this pain will force us to recognize that it simply doesn’t make sense to commute and hour and a half to work each day – and encourage more people to move back into the city. And high gas prices will motivate people to use our brand new light rail system to get about in the city. And they’ll tune their air-conditioners. And sell their giant cars and buy smaller ones that safer and easier on the environment. etc…
Like I said. Good news.