From the department of wishful thinking comes this:
The worst oil shock since the 1970s has put a permanent mark on the
American way of life that even a drop in oil's price below $100 a
barrel won't erase.
Public transportation is in. Hummers are out. Frugality is in. Wastefulness is out....
As prices come falling back to earth, Americans aren't expected to
drop their newfound frugality. The jarring reality of $4-a-gallon
gasoline stirred up an unprecedented level of consumer angst that
experts say will keep people from reverting to extravagant energy use
for years to come - if ever again.
High gas prices prompted calls to lower speed limits to 55 mph in some states and touched off a seemingly endless wave of "Go Green" campaigns.
"I see a permanent shift," said Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist
at San Francisco's Golden Gate University who has studied how high oil
prices have affected Americans' buying behavior. "Historically, when
gas prices come down, people use more. But we've learned a lot of new
things during this period and it will be hard to go back to our
Really? I could have sworn people said that in 1972 and again in 1978. But the SUV and the Hummer were not even invented until after these oil shocks. He mentions the 55 mph speed limit, but we once had a national speed limit at 55 in the 1970s and we chucked it. What possible evidence does this guy have, particularly since the recent shock was not nearly as bad as 1972 or 1978. In fact, you can see that here in this graph of gas price pain:
And, we have not seen the absolute shortages and gas lines we saw in the 1970s. Usually these weird statements like this published by the AP are the start of some kind of broader political campaign. The only thing I can guess is that this is the front end of some leftish/Obama polical message that we need to keep slamming on government conservation directives and alt-energy subsidies even as prices fall.