The bad news continues for fuel efficient vehicle technologies. The AP is reporting that yesterday's oil barrel price of $74.54 was a 14-month low, and that price is half (half!) of the high price earlier this summer. The main reason for the drop is the tanking U.S. economy, which "stoked fears that a significant global economic slowdown will undermine demand for crude," as the AP so clearly puts it. One potential uptick in prices could come in November, when OPEC meets and might decide to reduce output.
We're getting kind of close to the point where it makes less and less sense for automakers, on a purely cost-based level, to invest heavily in alternative fuel technologies. There are still plenty of reasons for them to continue doing so (environmental concerns, popular pressure, government pushes), and I can't imagine they'll stop, but the rapid climb and fall of gas prices has got to be worrying a lot of people. Can you imagine a U.S. - or a world - where we are not reliant on one type of fuel to move us around and where stories like this one just don't matter?