The good news is car companies are gearing up to build smaller, more fuel efficient cars and fewer massive SUV’s. A summer of 4 dollar-a-gallon gasoline and an economic meltdown may have consigned the Hummer to the same fate as the dinosaurs it cremates at an astronomical rate. Once again, Americans didn’t seem to need the government to tell them to save gas. The market did that all by its self.
But with oil trading at just under $60/barrel, maybe it’s time to admit that $140/barrel oil was a bubble. I don’t know if the price was driven up artificially by speculators or just supply and demand … but it has spectacularly collapsed. Again, the overall global economy has something to do with that, as demand has dropped precipitously not only in the US but in places like China, which was driving much of the demand curve which boosted the prices. The markets are an amazing thing, and supply and demand seems to work.
But just because gas is back to an almost reasonable price, let’s not stop conserving. Let’s not start driving like we did before. Let’s not buy or lease enormous, gas-guzzling trucks if we don’t need them for work. If your ego is so fragile that you need a huge truck to make you feel like an important person, take those lease payments and get some therapy instead. Those of us who drive something a little smaller will thank you if you’re a tad less aggressive. Big vehicles seem to make people drive more aggressively. It doesn’t take Dr. Phil to figure that one out.
But the airlines, which began nickel-and-diming us to death with seat selection fees and first checked bag fees and surcharges for this and tariffs for that because fuel was so expensive … well how about a bit of a break on those now that things are a bit more reasonable. At least the fare for Jenni to come down at Christmas wasn’t outrageous. Maybe that’s a sign of things to come.
But mostly, don’t stop. Let’s continue to conserve, drive less aggressively, and yes, even empty the trunk and make sure our tires are properly inflated. We’ve beaten back $4.00/gallon gas for now. Let’s don’t let the oil companies, or OPEC, win.