It doesn't matter what we think or do anymore. The insane boom of gas usage in China that is about to occur will happen anyway regardless of anything we think we can do about it here. And, of course, the liberals will blame the evil corporations ("who are acting all corporationy") and the conservatives will blame the government, when in truth, they tend to act together to screw things up. (Look up the history of corporations back in the days of cowboys driving cattle across private owners' open land. Corporations can't get away with truly hideous behavior without government support.)
True, we aren't building more refineries, tankers or drilling for more oil in our own reserves. To use California as an example, the refineries there are reportedly maxed out on their capacity, as well as the tankers bringing in supply. This means, even if we DID start drilling and pulling up more of our own oil, we couldn't ship it to the refineries, and even if we could, the refineries don't have the capacity to process it. At their current max capacity, the California refineries produce every day the approximate quantity the California drivers consume in one day. They don't produce a surplus. Which is why some privateers are looking into creating new refineries in adjacent states. If we can get a surplus somehow, new refineries could help produce more and help lower prices.
But with everything maxed, it would have to be hit on all fronts. More refineries, more tankers AND start drilling our reserves. We've finally reached a point where it's going to be better financially to begin converting over to something else because the finances of continuing where we're going just doesn't make sense.
Too bad our government can't learn from the Brazilian government and start a program guaranteeing we will be running entirely on biodiesel in a matter of 10-20 years. But why do that when we can just keep subsidizing farmers for NOT farming crops while shrugging and "investigating" the continuing increase in gas prices?
So, most likely, there's going to be a (serious) race to get to the next uberfuel for the nation by privateers and small corporations. The big guys seem to already be smelling the change in the air and are doing a bit of research there, but who knows how much they're really working towards it right now. They may just end up following the pack.
Either way, I look forward to seeing what they come up with. Right now, I'm down with the biodiesel angle. I'll be glad to go down and get a vehicle that already has any small conversion on it that allows me to just pour in that stuff. And any accompanying kit to make my own, if I choose to go that route.