In 2012, gas prices could be $5 per gallon. At least according to a former Shell oil exec. The familiar doomsday oil price scare works whenever crude prices shoot up, as they are doing now. Shortly after the price fears are broadcast, the greenies come in with their cheers on how this is "good" for America. Really? It's "good"?
Sure, there are more and more gasoline sipping cars and even electric alternatives available. The downside? Middle class families cannot afford them. Even the cheap 40 mpg Ford Fiesta (it's pretty awesome though) comes with a bit of fine print. Only the manual version is that efficient, the "loaded" models are even less efficient, and it only seats 2 adults and 2 kids reasonably. For those of us with things and people to move, it's just not an option. Not to mention, not everyone can afford a brand new car payment with the increases in insurance that generally go with it. Sure, some of us have big SUVs. When it snows big time, as it has in about a 1/3 of the country so far this season, our big cars are safer. When we're in an accident with another larger vehicle, our odds of survival are better. In order to reap the safety benefits in a hybrid, you would need a mid-size or larger-size sedan like a Ford Fusion (which is an AMAZING car I wish I could afford). The issue? That hybrid starts in the lower to mid $30,000 range and costs more to insure than the regular Fusion. However, if you can afford it, it's GORGEOUS!
Last time gas prices shot up past $4 a gallon, it was an economic disaster. Everything from airline travel to food became more expensive. It likely turned what would have been a recession into a full blown depression. So why do some people think this is good? Because they think that by putting families into economic crisis, investors will be motivated to come up with new technology to reduce dependence on gasoline. Except that generally, it's not sweeping technology that hits all the industries that use gas. Airplanes still require crude. Many products we use require it too. And of course, our current vehicles most likely require it. Which means, if you're rich enough to afford that adaptation, this is a "good" thing. For the rest of us, I guess we'll just have to suffer the consequences.
Unfortunately, while I support green technologies, I cannot stand behind the economics of encouraging high gas prices. After all, I have a budget that's already affected by fuel prices. When green technology becomes AFFORDABLE for people like me (middle class), I will happily convert.
Spencer Reiss says in his article, "every extra penny you spend at the pump is an incentive for some aspiring energy mogul to find another fuel."
Well, Spence, I am sad that you are so entertained by hurting the middle class financially in nearly 10% unemployment. Apparently you didn't have your eyes on Houston, TX the last time prices went above $4 a gallon. What was once a city filled with jobs experienced MASSIVE layoffs. I'm glad you weren't in the trucking industry when you just barely broke even, making below minimum wage.
Pardon my French, but people cheering high gas prices are...