1  Profligate gasoline consumption is the largest, quickest, and easiest candidate for controlled downsizing of energy consumption in order to mitigate and delay the inevitable post-fossil-fuel crash.

2  Rationing is the best equitable way to reduce consumption ahead of the imminent decline in world oil production. Rationing would keep price low and stable as well as minimizing wild market-price swings. Now, uncontrolled demand, production costs, alternative liquid fuels (some competing with food), speculation, world tension, and steadily declining oil fields all interact. We are totally unprepared and out of control as we enter a new era of diminishing energy from fossil fuels. As the most intelligent species we should recognize the facts and plan accordingly.

3  Since American drivers use about one-eighth of world petroleum just for gasoline, a positive action to downsize will send a huge message to the rest of the industrialized world, which is directly sharing with us the integrated energy-economic crisis.

4  Rationing would provide the time and price stability for exploration and development of alternative fuels, if any. The wild price swings we have now discourage long-range planning.

5  The street monetary value of Tradable Fuel Allotments (TFA’s) would have the added advantage of putting instant cash in the hands of poor or frugal drivers. This would redistribute real wealth from those who can afford and choose to consume more to those who do not.

6  The equitable sharing and downsizing of gasoline consumption benefits all future energy consumers, rich or poor. Rationing is the only way for peaceful co-existence when diminishing essential resources are available for constant or steadily increasing demand. This is true for all survival scenarios.

7  Considering the dire circumstances facing us as we enter the second half of the oil age, it is highly probable that some form of rationing will soon have to expand to other critical uses like aviation fuel, commercial diesel, and industrial transportation fuel. If we ration gasoline now, that time can be postponed.

8  The controlled reduction of discretionary gasoline consumption will also leave more future petroleum feed-stocks available at a more stable price for heating oil, plastics, lubricants, agriculture, wood harvesting, strategic material mining, and a thousand other things that are oil-dependent, ubiquitous, and now taken for granted.

NEXT: Conclusions

Gasoline Rationing . . Are You Kidding?