Monday, May 5, 2008

Headline: "$4 gas will change lifestyles":
In fact, if you recently passed up that ribeye steak at the grocery because of its $10-a-pound pricetag, the price of gas has already changed your diet. Food is now a petroleum-based product, and as oil costs soar, so does the cost of food.

Thanks to misbegotten government fuel subsidies, for example, vast acreages of farmland are being diverted to raising corn for ethanol production, and that’s corn that the cows aren’t eating. In addition, most of the pesticides and herbicides used to grow our food are petroleum-based, as are many fertilizers. Fertilizers heavy in ammonia, for example, are critical in grain production. They’re created from natural gas, and since the price of natural gas has almost quadrupled in the past 10 years, the price of fertilizer, and thus grain, has soared as well.

Until now, cheap energy also has helped to shape our living arrangements. In places such as metro Atlanta, where the urban core no longer serves as the center of gravity, development has sprawled into suburbs and exurbs. People in search of cheaper housing or more space could just keep driving farther and farther from their job sites until they found housing that met their needs.

But $4-a-gallon gasoline puts a tether around their necks, pulling them closer to the core. With gas prices so high, someone who drives 30 miles to work each morning in a 20-mpg vehicle will have to spend $12 a day just on gasoline.
Read the whole AJC article here.