Mar 28, 2012

Will gas ever be $20/gallon?

 We were reading some older newspaper articles recently and came upon a review of this book,

$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better, by Forbes writer Christopher Steiner

Mr Steiner in a recent presentation in our town Orlando predicted the kind of life we could all have if gas did ever reach that level. Here's what he predicts at gas price levels along the way to $20 per gallon(courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel's Kevin Spear):

"•At $6 a gallon, traffic patterns change and fewer people die in crashes.

•At $10, the rate of car ownership falls.

•At $12, there are shortages of homes in urban areas where people can walk or bicycle to work.

•At $14, big-box stores close and smaller, downtown stores are providing more basic goods and services.

•At $16, air freight becomes mostly a luxury of the past.

•At $18, the U.S. catches up with Europe's use of high-speed trains."

His book was written in 2009 and in this presentation he admits that maybe Americans move to smaller cars and more alt energy is already making the possibility of $20/gallon gas remote

But he focuses on the rise of the middle class in the BRIC countries and how this increased demand for fuel may deaden the attempts by the older economies of N America and Europe to keep gas prices in check

A 2009 interview with Mr Steiner in Newsweek offered this,

"The book also seems really focused on the benefits of living in New York City, but not everyone likes living in cities. You don't live in New York, do you?I live in Chicago. Other cities in the country will start to act more like New York. The mass transportation system that underlies New York City doesn't exist in any other place in the country. You'll see cities move toward that model. But will everyone who remembers having a giant house in Scottsdale be happy? No. But small towns will not go away, especially ones around rail lines with good infrastructure. People will still live around Main Street."

Conservastore hopes that $20/gallon is unnecessary but there must be a tacit agreement between the oil and gas producers and politicians around the world to attempt to move economies to models less dependent on oil and gas but those that still allow the energy producers the ability to offer green technologies that allow their shareholders to prosper. Yes an amalgam of government and business that can help us all.

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