Are lower gas prices really good?

I was gassing up my car yesterday for $2.269 a gallon, amazed by how quickly the price of gas has come down. According to the AAA (as of 11/13/05), the average price of premium (turbochargers like premium) was around $3.30 a gallon just a month ago. Of course, there are several factors at play – lower demand, increased supply, warm weather, even perhaps public and congressional scrutiny.

Obviously, this is a good on our wallets. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the horror stories concerning SUV drivers spending over $100 to fill their tank when gas prices were at their highest during the summer. Well, when you buy a vehicle that gets 15 miles to the gallon, you’re going to be much more sensitive to higher gas prices. And the relief will be much greater when prices go down. My big question: Will people learn from this experience and demand more fuel efficient vehicles? All it took was a major hurricane to hit just the right spot, and we had gas stations running out gas, wildly fluctuating prices, and talk of gas rationing. At least, that’s the way it was here.

I fear that we will learn nothing of the experience, and the same thing will happen again. What do you think?