So, what do the analysts this is coming down the pike if $4-per-gallon is the new reality, whether that's driven by high crude prices or a gasoline tax increase? Well, "many experts and politicians believe the demand for smaller vehicles would drive the average fuel economy in the U.S. to 35 mpg inside of 10 years, up from 24 mpg today." So, that would solve, partially, the Senate panel's request. When gas prices went up in Europe (due to taxes), "consumers quickly moved to smaller vehicles. In response, General Motors ( GM), Ford (F), Toyota (TM) and the rest have been selling smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles there than they sell in the U.S for the past decade." writes BusinessWeek's David Kiley. It wouldn't be exactly surprising if the same thing were to happen here. But who can predict?