I have the first season of "The Dukes of Hazzard" on DVD. Yeah, yeah, don't laugh. I like the ol' show, hokey and fun in it's shameless celebration of hillbilly chic. Man, that General Lee could make some wicked jumps, usually after pausing for a commercial break, of course. Flying '69 Dodge Chargers aside, there's a reason I bring up this nostalgic relic of a simpler time. There's an episode from the first season of the show concerning the Duke boys dusting off their old moonshine still to pump out an alternative fuel as part of a competition to find a replacement for gasoline. The villain of the show, Boss Hogg, even makes a point of how the winning formula could help alleviate the country's need for Middle Eastern oil. I checked the date for the episode: it first aired in 1979. 1979! That's almost 30 years ago. Having not been alive in the '70s, I can only take second-hand accounts of have desperate the oil crisis was during that era. The goofiness of the moonshine plot aside, there seemed to be a real thrust to find alternative fuels during the decade. But then, once the bottom dropped out of the oil market in the 1980s and gasoline was good and cheap again, the desire for alternative fuel went away as well. I must confess that I spent most of my life not even knowing about such a thing as alternative energy. No one certainly ever talked about it. It wasn't until high school that I first heard about ethanol, but it was just a weird novelty fuel that no one took seriously. I guess you can kind of see where I'm going with this. Oil prices are at record highs, no one's disputing that. But they were previously at record highs during the last oil crisis (ie, the timeline of the "Dukes"). The price of oil *is* eventually going to drop down again, and when it does, will our desire for alternative energy drop as well? –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; spayne@hartenergy.com