Gas prices are considerably higher than they were a year ago -- an average of 67 cents per gallon higher. Diesel is up by a similar margin, and it's enough that many companies are having to pass the cost along to consumers.
The US hit peak domestic oil production decades ago:
So the question now might be, what are we doing to find new ways to be bigger producers of energy than consumers? We're never going to be energy "independent" -- even the big oil-exporting countries in the Middle East import refined gasoline -- but we could get ourselves into an energy surplus.
The world may or may not be some time away from peak oil...but that doesn't mean we should squander the time between now and the even higher-priced future. It still looks like a big campaign for incentive prizes tied to energy innovations might be the fastest way to get Manhattan Project-style results at a minimum of taxpayer pain.
People talk about becoming a millionaire as though it's something only within reach of the rich. But if you start early enough, you can turn your kids into future millionaires without a huge degree of trouble. It's best if you start saving by age 22, but what a Christmas gift if parents could start that process when their kids are still infants.
Your mileage may vary, but here's what I expect to come of the economic platforms of the Presidential candidates.
Keywords in this show: economics • energy • gas prices • inducement prizes • peak oil • petroleum • Presidential candidates • savings • transportation