Alternately they could move to a price structure where there's a fixed "fee" to simply be a customer, and then use the revenue from that fee to offset the price-per-kWh and make it artificially cheap.
That said, the difference between "the best" and "the average" is probably not 10x. At least not if productivity is measured in "amount of output produced at some acceptable level of quality". Where "the best" guys excel is in being able to solve problems that average guy is probably never going to be able to solve (well) no matter how much time he's given. On the other hand, those sorts of problems come up less often than most people think.
Where I could potentially see 10x being useful is for guys who are the acknowledged "best in the world" at some particular thing. Like, "tuning huge postgresql installations". Because you're the primary committer on the project, or something. There are employers willing to pay "best in the world" level compensation for these guys to do short-term work. 10x would be useful if it put the devs in contact with these employers and they would not otherwise have come into contact with them. In that sense it's a sort of match-making service, bringing "guys who can charge exorbitant consulting fees" together with "companies willing to pay exorbitant consulting fees".
Yes, it's true. We are currently producing more oil than Saudi Arabia! But we are far from being independent.
Short of state ownership of the oil production industry and/or draconian restrictions on exports and imports the U.S. won't ever be "independent" in the sense that it is unaffected by the global price of petroleum. And that price is only influenced to a small degree by U.S. production.
1. Set standards on gasoline, there are way too many formulas that vary state to state 2. Determine how many refineries we need (haven't built any new refineries for 30+ years). 3. Determine the best locations for the refineries (logistics of incoming raw crude and outgoing fuels)
These sound like tasks best suited to a China-style command economy. You strike me as the sort of person who would find that abhorrent.
You're charging you car using energy from coal so you ain't doing any favors using a toy battery car.
Unless you live in Washington state, where roughly 6.5% of electricity comes from coal. Or Oregon, where that figure is roughly the same. Etc.
If you're too poor to own a car and, hence, don't care about gas prices, then you're not middle class. If you're someone to whom a $1/gal delta in the price of gas is more-or-less meaningless then you're not middle class. If you're someone who lives in a dense, urban environment and doesn't own a car by choice then you're probably also not "middle class".
There's may not be a shortage of candidates per se, but there's a shortage of competent candidates and a shortage of wisdom (on the part of employers) in how they choose whom to hire.
I suspect a small company that did a top-notch job of screening candidates would enjoy a significant advantage over its competition.