CEOs on the frontlines of America's oil crisis discuss the effects soaring gasoline prices are having on their businesses and their customers.
Consumers Delaying Utility Payments
"Actually, we're seeing consumers delay in their payment of their electric bills, and their gas bills to heat their homes...You're starting to see behavior change. It causes us to disconnect service, and it creates a whole set of issues."
Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy
$4 Gasoline: The Tipping Point?
“At three dollars a gallon, we got a lot of talk, but no change in behavior. It was viewed as a spike and that we would return to low prices. At four dollars a gallon, there’s a definite change in behavior, and the consumer mindset is at a tipping point. The consumer’s becoming convinced that they face higher gasoline prices open-ended, and therefore they’re changing their behavior, and the migration away from truck-based sport utility vehicles is underway.
Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation
Passing Soaring Energy Prices to Consumers
"In the first quarter...we increased local prices more than our cost of energy and raw materials went up. It's going to be a challenge the rest of the year, but we're going to continue with our focus...yes, our prices will have to go up, but it's going to be specifically by sitting down and working with our customers. It served us very well last year; it served us in the first quarter; it's going to serve us the rest of this year, too."
Charles Holiday Jr., CEO of DuPont
Peak Oil Worries
“We are so utterly out of off-shore drilling rigs… that even if there is stuff out there, we’ve run up the clock. We don’t have any way to find it, we don’t have any way to produce it.
Matthew Simmons, Simmons & Co. International Chairman
Crude’s Wild Run
“Rising resource nationalism and the growing awareness of resource maturity are two very powerful forces that are driving us to where we are. I call it practical peak oil, because quite clearly if you had a different set of polices in Venezuela, Russia, parts of the Middle East, West Africa, we could develop more supply.”
Tom Petrie, Merrill Lynch Vice Chairman