Jan. 17, 2007: CNN Money—Auto Industry Experts See Soaring Gas Prices

Summary: "U.S. auto executives are bracing for gas prices to more than double over the next decade and for sharply higher U.S. fuel economy standards—a step the industry has long resisted, according to an academic survey released Tuesday.

Gas prices will average slightly more than $4 a gallon by 2015 and just over $5 a gallon by 2020, according to the survey conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI)."

If you’ve been considering an upgrade from gas hog to hybrid, now may be a good time. Ever since the Katrina-sparked gas price surge in 2005, SUVs have been tough to dump and the most fuel-efficient hybrids hard to find.

Gas prices have relaxed to around $2.25, causing amnesiacs to be seduced by SUV commercials’ promise of long sightlines and leathery legroom. A few market surveys have found that people are willing once again to look at the trucks and SUVs they eschewed while prices topped $3.00 a gallon.

However, world oil supply is still shaky. Forces are more apt than not to merge on the side of rising crude prices: the right weather in the wrong place, a little sabotage somewhere else, and political plotting in another corner of the world are all possible ingredients of the next gas crisis.

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