This is a nice fantasy. But people are oblivious. They are even still buying NEW cars that get less than 20 mpg!
But YOU can become more independent from gas companies, and it's easy!
1. Find a local Motorcycle Safety Class and learn to ride a motorcycle. OMG, it is NOT dangerous nor scary. (I actually feel safer on a motorcycle these days, I'm much more aware and they are 100X more maneuverable, fast, and incredibly fuel efficient. 50mpg!!! I fill up a 3 gal tank about ONCE A MONTH. But take that safety class, it is a MUST. In my area, the classes are about 30-40% female now too. A lot of women are becoming riders.
2. If you're married, w/ or w/o kids, seriously consider NOT WORKING. Honestly, DO THE MATH. Include all the costs related to your working (clothes, fuel, food for lunch, makeup, increased taxes, day care, etc.) Then subtract that from the money you are bringing in. That is your actual net gain. Now consider your TIME at the job, and INCLUDE the commute time. Divide the net gain by the hours. That is your actual hourly rate. You'll be stunned to see how little you are actually making. Some women will actually see a net LOSS!!! DO THE MATH! And then consider, IS IT WORTH IT for the time spent? Stay at home. Honestly, couples who do this are shocked to see how much money they actually end up SAVING (cooking cheaper meals for dinner, more time w/ kids, more energy, happier hubbies, do-it-yourself household maintenance) . The second income requirement is a TOTAL HOAX encouraged by the government to raise revenue.
3. Don't drive as much. Analyze your driving habits one day. Now, when I go to the store, I park once, then walk from store to store, even crossing the roadway if necessary, to hit all my stores at once. Park nearest the store where you'll have the most bags. THEN WALK. Drop things off at the car if you need to. THEN WALK back to the stores again. And plan your shopping. Just once a week, maybe even just once a month! I have a supermarket 1 mile from my house. I WALK there now. I bought a little rolling carrier like people used in the 60's. And I'm losing weight from all the exercise too!
4. Sell all your cars except one. It can work. We do it. No multiple car payments, much less insurance costs, much less maintenance costs. It's incredible. And on days where we all need the car, one of us is the taxi driver, dropping the others off then continuing on. Just do it. Remember, prices are per supply and demand. This is one way to DEFINITELY drop the demand.
5. If you have to work, and if your type of work allows it, work from home. INSIST on it, or else find another job. Obviously, a factory worker can't do this, but SO many other professions can. Technology supports it! The only reason not to do it is that you have a bad manager or a lazy worker. Both should be fired anyway, and both will immediately reveal themselves in a work-from-home arrangement. You have to work from home anyway. You only have one car. ;-)
6. Just stay home in general. Today, we have every modern convenience, entertainment, and luxury lifestyle accessory in our homes... BUT NO ONE HAS NOR TAKES THE TIME TO ENJOY THEM! Force yourself to! We haven't gone to the theater in 3 years (NetFlix). Restaurants, maybe 3 times a year (I learned to cook really well, my steaks are better than any restaurant). Vacations? Well, frankly, I've been underimpressed by the so-called luxury vacation hotspots. We now spend the same amount of money on our home (including installing energy efficient appliances, windows, etc. (ourselves)) and turned our home into a year-round resort! And during the summer we'll rent a boat or personal watercraft once in a while (no yearly maintenance costs, no insurance, etc., it's much cheaper to rent).
You'll never get everyone to use these practical tips, but YOU CAN DO IT. And you will become unaffected and relatively independent from the "energy crisis" others are experiencing. AND THAT is a truly liberating feeling!
Honestly, hon, try these things (definitely try motorcycling!) and you'll have a whole new outlook on life.