Remember back in July when everyone was gnashing their teeth and screaming invective at the oil industry in the wake of $150 oil? Remember how politicians were screaming about crooked companies? How Exxon's record profits were fodder for late-night talk show hosts? It all seems like ancient history now. At $60 oil, where is the anger? Where is the frustration? Where are the calls for revenge, the demand to have energy executives arrested and perp-walked down Wall Street? Where are the screams to nationalize the country's oil reserves, to investigate energy firms for manipulating prices? Where did all the hatred go? Gone. Swept away. Maybe's it's the election buzz. Maybe people became anesthetized after sitting through "High School Musical 3." Maybe the fairy godmother wished all the badness away. Whatever the case, gasoline is down to $2.20 a gallon and things are starting to get quiet as the energy prices readjust themselves. It's certainly not a time to celebrate for everyone. Natural gas prices as hanging just above $6 per MMBtu, the minimum threshold needed to keep unconventional gas plays like the Haynesville shale solvent. OPEC certainly isn't happy about this drop, which will cause lots of problems for the member countries' social programs. And the sudden drop in prices have caused several energy company executives have to take on the role of distressed sellers as they forked over their company shares to cover margin calls. But for the American public? It's like Christmas has come two months early. True, energy demand had been down for quite a while, and the market was so out of whack that prices jumped up to an all time high seemingly against the reality of worldwide demand. Overall energy usage is down despite the drop in prices, which suggests the American public still hasn't found its price equilibrium yet. But the rage levels from a few months ago have for the most part subsided. No telling how long it will last, but it remains obvious that when it comes to the public's perception of the energy industry, the anger is only as strong as the cost of the last trip to the gas station. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com