IB-2003-K (August 2003)
Author: The Center for the American Dream
One of the strangest arguments made in favor of spending billions of dollars on rail transit is that we will need it when we run out of oil. “We are going to run out of oil in ten to twenty years,” rail advocates claim, “so we should build rail lines now to be ready when people can no longer afford to drive.”
It is nice of them to plan ahead using other people’s money, but the economy doesn’t work that way. Oil is fi nite, and eventually we may run low. But gasoline is not going to sell for $1.29 one day and be gone the next. Instead, oil prices will increase gradually as oil companies access more expensive sources.