A lot of people seem to be smuggly satisfied with the fact that oil dropped below $60/barrel and gas is sliding down to the $2/gallon mark, but you have to wonder if things are actually any different than they were in August when folks were getting nervous about the same prices.

It seems to be a matter of perspective, another twist on the whole mark-up-prices, cut-them-through-discounts, call-it-a-sale cycle that pervades so much of our consumer culture (you can tell I'm already fed up with Christmas shopping). Why is $2/gallon gas viewed as a reason to laugh at those with efficient vehicles, anyway? I'm still paying north of $60 to fill the tank in my truck. So with nasty weather on its way and petroleum prices likely to increase as a result, for how long will oil remain under that $60 mark, and for how long will that seem inexpensive once the pricing trend changes directions?

I'm just hoping that this psychological adjustment to energy prices isn't further slowing down the investigation into alternative means of fueling our vehicles.

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