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Prices fuel need for alternative - Greg Gelpi

I remember walking to school in the snow up hill both ways, and I remember when gas prices were in the double digits.

I'm not that old and my memory doesn't deceive me that greatly. It wasn't but about three years ago when I was buying gas for about 85 cents a gallon in Louisiana. Since then, gas prices have more than doubled and walking to work up hill both ways is looking better and better.

With the heavy reliance on gas and shipping of raw materials and finished products, soaring gas prices ultimately do impact the prices of other items. Imagine if the prices of cars, food or clothing doubled in the same amount of time.

Why then is it taking so long for hybrid automobiles to go mainstream, to be available at all major car dealerships?

In the land of opportunity, this seems to be a capitalist's dream, one that has yet to be realized.

Barring any conspiracy theory involving covert operations by the oil industry to discourage such a venture, there seems to be little reason for the delay.

A nation that can split the atom should be able to harness energy from some source other than oil and market it in a less expensive way. I'm confident that by the time my kids make the same uphill walk both ways that gasoline will be an ancient relic and that water, the flux capacitor or some other solution will be common place.

What goes up must come down, except when it comes to gas prices.

Shocking but true, but the endless flow of oil isn't endless and it will run out. When it does, I'm doubtful that cars will just run out of gas and be abandoned on the side of the road.

Cars will continue to run, and trucks will continue to transport goods. The only question is who will seize the opportunity to cash in on an increasingly angry gas-guzzling nation to offer an alternative.

Hybrid and alternative fuel cars already exist, yet for whatever reason remain at the starting line and have yet to take off.

Regardless of the mileage and assuming a somewhat reasonable price, bring them on. Gazing at the gas station attendant once again changing the price of gas, I'm already sold on hybrids.

Winter hasn't been that harsh up north and summer travel is approaching. With that in mind, gas prices can only be expected to soar even higher.

While SUVs grow larger and gas prices climb, the demand is also gaining momentum for hybrid cars or any alternative to traditional means of transportation or fueling these means of transportation.

But, despite the demand and obvious need, hybrids aren't marketed or pushed as a viable means of transportation and availability remains limited.

While the squabbling continues about the cause of ever-increasing gas prices, more energy, funding and attention should be directed to finding long-lasting solutions to sever the country's dependency on oil.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.