Robert Bryce has a piece at www.Slate.com (the best d@mn read on the internet), that encapsulates my feelings about gas prices, which is essentially that everybody should quit complaining because we've been spoiled. To summarize why we're lucky:
1) Gas only costs 20% more than it did EIGHTY-SIX YEARS AGO.
2) Gas is cheaper by the gallon than beer ($11) or Starbucks ($23).
3) In 1975, gas was 33.4% of the total car ownership cost (gas, financing, licensing, taxes, insurance, and maintenance). Now gas is only 17% because all the fixed costs have jumped fivefold.
4) Americans only reduce oil consumption after prolonged "high" prices. This year will be the first in seventeen to show a decline in gas consumption.
5) Small car sales increased 17% in April while SUV sales fell 30%, which is good for the environment. In addition, Nissan is going to sell an electric car in America because (listen up, free marketeers)..."the shifts from the markets are more powerful than what regulators are doing." (Of course, since the regulators aren't doing anything, I guess this isn't too impressive, is it?)
6) We should all be glad we're not Brits, and not just because their food is bland. They're paying $8.38/gallon. American has the second-lowest gas prices among the 32 industrialized nations.
So, in short, Jill Long-Thompson, Hillary Clinton, or John McCain shouldn't cut our gas taxes until people first move closer to their jobs, ditch their SUVs, dust of their bikes, and keep their hands off of our wildlife preserves as a quickie fix. Only true energy independence will allow us to handle the Middle East in the way we should, not the way we HAVE TO.