Want to spend less on gas? Here's one way...
Here's my solution: Let's go back to fuel ration cards like they had in WW II. That will put an artificial clamp on the demand, and lower prices, right?
Back then, to get a ration book and a certain classification, one had to appear before the local ration board and plea their case. Getting a "A" card allocated you 3-4 gallons of fuel per week. "B" cards were issued to those working in the military industry and gave one 8 gallons/week. A "C" card went to those deemed essential to the war effort, such as doctors. "T" cards went to truckers, and if you were really, really good, you got a "X" card, which provided you with unlimited fuel, food, rubber, etc. Ministers, policemen, volunteer firemen, and civil defense workers got these.
This occurred because we were getting a fair amount of petroleum from the South Pacific at the time, a place the Japanese were moving in on. That left only our domestic production, and the majority of it was needed to run those Sherman tanks and P-51 Mustangs.
What's different today? Half of our oil supply comes from an area that is openly hostile to us, maybe more than half if you include Hugo Chavez and Venezuela. We are at war, or so we're told by those in DC. If our oil supplies fell into the wrong hands, we'd be in real trouble. Rationing is one answer to reduce over-consumption and leaving ourselves vulnerable to dictators.
Sure, it might take some getting used to; no more running across town to your favorite Blockbuster to get "Ishtar: Enhanced Director's Cut", of course. 3-4 gallons per week will get you about 40 miles with a big SUV. Hope your grocery store isn't too far away. Pizza delivery? Forget it, unless you can tip the delivery boy a few contraband ration stamps. But isn't this all a small price to pay to win the war on terror and stick it to those Arab sheiks?
Of course, I'm being a bit facetious here. Nobody in their right mind is going to propose, much less ratify, petroleum rationing until the straits are dire. People will complain what they will about the price of fuel, but in the end, they'll pay for it, and maybe even smile a bit as they do it. The oil companies know this, the auto manufacturers know this, and government knows it.
However, if push came to shove, and we were headed to $10/gal gasoline, I think fuel rationing might become a viable option and worthy of discussion. As much as I don't like government intruding, at that point, it becomes a national security issue, and it becomes their business.