Over the past several weeks, the Big 2 Energy Report has focused on potential cap and trade legislation and the effects it could have on our country if it passes. Some companies, like Alon USA, have been prepping for the potential legislation for years. Others say way it's much too expensive, and the U.S. is simply not ready. Now, some new information could pit even more people against it.
The New York Post recently published an article that has drivers across America in shock - "$7-Dollar-A-Gallon Gas?" That's how much a Harvard University study shows gas prices would have to cost to meet Obama's goal of reducing emissions from the transportation sector by 14 percent.
Big 2 stopped by a Midland gas station to see what drivers thought about $7-a-gallon gasoline. Most agree, it's a scary thought. One driver told us, "It's not good. That's all I have to say. It's really not good. That's a lot of money." Another said, "Something has to be done. That's too much money. It would be too hard to get around."
Those that could be hit the hardest are families with teenage drivers. With 4 kids, all old enough to drive, Cliff Collyer of Midland is the perfect example. He foots the bill to fill up all the cars in his family - that's six tanks of gas a week.
The financial reality of the situation really set in after calculating the price difference. With current prices, Collyer pays roughly $400 a week on gas. If prices reached $7 a gallon, he would be paying almost $1,100.
When Collyer saw those numbers, here's what he said. "I think we may have to start car pooling a little bit. The kids pay for some of their gas now, but if it gets that high, they can't really help at all. So it will probably be extra money me and my wife have to come up with."
Collyer also commented on how he thinks America would react, should we see prices continue to rise higher than they've ever been before. "Badly. I think it would be a shock to the country. I think they'de have to look at public transportation, carpooling, things like that," says Collyer.
Other drivers agree. One Midland man says, "I might find an alternative mode of transportation. Maybe a bicycle or a motorcycle or something." Another person we spoke with even suggested riding a horse.
But in reality, the pain we would feel at the pump is only the beginning. Collyer says, "I don't think people realize the effect on the price of groceries and everything we do. So I'm not sure that even cars would be the biggest one. People might adapt some (to gas prices). But food and everything we do will go up, and I think there'll be big economic trouble. "
All of this could also mean forking over more dough for taxes. In next week's Big 2 Energy Report, we'll sit down with the City of Midland's transportation division to see what $7-a-gallon gas would mean for them and for tax payers.