Who's Ready for Peak Oil?

Report ranks largest 50 US cities by their readiness for $4+ a gallon gas and $100+ a barrel oil prices

"As world oil prices reached their highest levels ever Monday, a new study released today ranked the largest 50 US cities by their readiness for $4+ a gallon gas and $100+ barrel oil prices. The top ten cities ranked according to providing the best alternatives to oil dependence are as follows:

1. San Francisco
2. New York
3. Chicago
4. Washington, DC
5. Seattle
6. Portland, OR
7. Boston
8. Philadelphia
9. Oakland
10. Denver"

Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP

Full Story: Major US City Preparedness For an Oil Crisis: Which Cities and Metro Areas are Best Prepared for $4 a Gallon Gas and Beyond?



Length of auto commutes should be included

The report should include the length of auto commutes. The two top ranking metro areas, New York and San Francisco, are also the two (AFAIK) with the highest rate of "super commuters" who drive 50 miles or more to work. These workers usually do not have a viable transit option and will be the hardest hit by high gas prices. So I think these cities will have some serious economic repercussions as they figure out how to pay these people higher wages, build better transit infrastructure ASAP, vastly expand telecommuting, vastly re-arrange the locations of jobs and housing, and/or deal with expanded unemployment (my guess is that some combination of all of these things will happen).

The top ten lowest ranking cities on the list, by and large, have very short average auto commutes. So in this regard they will have less adjustments to make when high gas prices arrive.



not so simple

$4 gas will affect the price of goods and services more so than just through auto-commutes. Think Kunstler's 3000 mile head of lettuce and the housing downturn. I'd be more impressed with the ranking if it included proximity to international shipping lines (NYC and SF would still rank highly) and relation to centers of agricultural production (NYC, not so good. NoCal and Indiana ain't so bad). But that's harder data to tease out than another sprawl rehash, and "who uses more transit."

Cities are fundamentally leaches on the surrounding landscape. But an increase in gas price affects some modes more than others. People are not the most important transportation good, or are they?

The methodology is very light. The study should cite more than Yahoo news if it is to be taken seriously. No McHarg, Beatly, or Register? No Brookings?

Extra info

Thanks Jon and Nate for posting.

You can also read an executive summary which quotes the author, Warren Karlenzig, from our media page-



Ken Ott

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