So why are gas prices so cheap? The pundits on television and writing newspaper columns will say it’s because OPEC refused to lower production quotas in order to force the super-productive fracking industry to its knees. It is true that some companies using fracking technology will likely suffer under the low prices currently seen for oil. But some of these companies say they can still operate at well under $50 a barrel, about where the price closed at the end of 2014. No, there is another story going on here, one that you have to dig to find.
In an article published in Solutions Journal, Rocky Mountain Institute’s Amory Lovins points out that the rise in US domestic oil output between 2004-13 displaced 10 percent of our oil imports, but less driving and more energy-efficient vehicles saved 18 percent during the same time period. Why don’t we know this? How often do we think about things we cannot see? If we aren’t using energy, whether it’s gasoline for our cars or natural gas or coal to heat our buildings, we don’t think of that “lack of use” as having value. Yet the cheapest energy we have is what we don’t use.
Read more about “Energy Efficiency: The Secret Revolution” here. It’s fascinating, and we’ve just barely scratched the surface of what we can accomplish by investing in better energy technology and habit.