The soaring price of oil, and energy in general, is having an effect in all sorts of ways on every-day American life. For the automotive industry, cutbacks in truck and SUV production--not to mention sales--are inevitable. Assembly-line slowdowns, layoffs and factory closings are commonplace. The website is a great place to track the incentives being offered on new cars that just aren't selling. It says, "Beyond cash-back offers, manufacturers are also looking at other creative ways to fuel sales in a down economy where consumers are worried about the escalating cost of gas. For example, Chrysler recently launched a fixed $2.99 gas price incentive that has already led to an increase in sales. Additionally, Volkswagen is trying to lure families to its new Routan minivan, being released this September, with $1,500 toward a UPromise college fund for buyers." Meanwhile in Houston, oil and gas companies needing to poach experienced geologists and engineers from their competitors have begun offering people a six-figure signing bonus to jump--that's on top of a higher salary, according to one recruiter. Campgrounds around the country are raising their day rates to make up for fewer families that are able to afford enough gas to drive to far-away, scenic sites for vacation. American Airlines is charging $15 to check every bag on its flights, at the same time that it cuts back on the number of flights and announced employee layoffs. More such lifestyle adjustments are sure to take effect throughout this year and in 2009. --Leslie Haines, Oil and Gas Investor magazine, Houston