The Price of Gasoline Doesn't Matter. Well, actually, the price of gasoline shouldn't matter. If you drive a car that gets 20 miles per gallon, and pay 2.00 dollars per gallon, your cost per gallon of gasoline is no different than if you drive a car that gets 50 miles per gallon and you are paying 5 dollars per gallon.
The problem has been in the lethargy with which our own economy, marketing, and personal preferences cause the increase in miles per gallon technology to barely increase over the past 20-30 years. New potential gas saving advancements are instead put into faster acceleration or more internal comfort for the passengers such as more 12 volt outputs to power television screens, improve air conditioning, add a better speaker system, keep the car more plush, or just larger and heavier than is necessary.
Just what is happening to the gasoline profits? Think about that for a moment. In a free market universe it's none of our business what the petroleum profiteer does. But what if the oil profiteer decided to make millions of hummers, sell them at a discount, and even offer 3 dollars off on a gallon of gas to every buyer of a hummer? While the odds are that won't happen, there are signs of it with these gas for only 2.99 guarantee offers if you basically buy a new gas guzzling car.
Could the argument be made that we no longer have a "free market society" if the amount of petroleum required for the planet's economy to run is more than can be supplied? Under those conditions, aren't urgent maneuvers the order of the day?
Not if you believe in let the market decide. At some point, the price of gas will become so high that other technologies will be developed. so just let the market decide. But there is a problem with that line of thinking.
If the oil profiteers choose to ignore the development of alternative energy technologies, they actually obstruct it's development. The obstruction comes in the form of purchasing existing, inefficient products that actually increase oil consumption! Anything short of investing ALL of the excess petroleum profits in alternative renewable energy products generated in one form or another by the sun, may be too little too late.
I believe we are in an "either you support alternative energy technologies, or you are against alternative energy technologies" mode, there is no in between. Fighting in Iraq to ensure stability so oil flows becomes a moot point if we don't accelerate our own fight for alternative energy development at a fater rate, especially when the amount of oil the military is using just to stay in Iraq is factored in.