Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Connecticut energy conference raises concerns

The Day has an item that is guaranteed to scare daylights out of you. Promise.

It is in inarguable that the United States, more than any other nation, has built a society based on cheap energy. Most people live in suburbs or rural locations that require the automobile to do most any task — get to work, participate in social activities, go shopping, even grab a gallon of milk and loaf of bread.

Our food largely comes from faraway places. Fossil-fuel based fertilizers and pesticides are used to produce the food. It is then trucked or shipped hundreds and often thousands of miles to reach local markets. Many of the material goods we buy are dependent on shipping supply lines stretching overseas to Asia and other lands.

When the price of oil goes up the price of all these things go up. If the cost of oil continues to rise, and gas shortages develop, our very way of life would be challenged. People would have trouble heating their ever-larger homes or finding gas to get to work. Food shortages could develop.

And while Europe, which has been dealing with high gas prices for decades, has maintained and expanded its mass transit systems, the U.S. passenger rail and trolley systems were largely dismantled after the automobile and cheap gas arrived on the scene early in the 20th century.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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