Oil prices have started their upward climb thanks to a weaking U.S. dollar, which can only mean growing complaints about the price at the pump. Though our recession remains in full swing, energy prices will most likely begin to move back in higher directions. In an effort to prematurely stave off energy price criticism, we should remind ourselves that this country runs on. And namely, just how shortsighted people's complaints are. Last year around this time, people were calling for oil company executives' heads. You would think Rex Tillerson was the Joker or somethign for the amount of people demanding him to be locked up. And yet, now at $45 oil... nothing. Maybe it's because people have other things to worry about, or maybe it's because we're all still slobbering over Barack Obama... no, it's because there's nothing to complain about. Energy is abundant and affordable, and that means self-interested Americans are satisfied for the time being and anti-hydrocarbon loonies are sidelined. It's a sad little reminder to some enviromental wingnuts that you can only get mainstream acceptence of extreme ideas during extreme periods. Now that the economy is the extreme distater, people demanding an end to oil have to sit on the sidelines while anti-capitalist activists get all the spotlights. Look, it's really simple. We need oil and gas to get this country going. If we do take ethanol seriously, we should get onto using switchgrass immediately before the corn lobby hijacks the discussion again. But unfortunately, that's not how things work. People don't discuss problems in a rational manner during times of plenty when everyone is satisfied. They want to wait until we've reached a pressure point so we can lob insults at one another. The great American discussion? Try the great American pie fight. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com