Biodiesel made from soybeans mixes with regular diesel to power these USDA trucks in Maryland.

The New York Times’s Jad Mouawad has reported that despite fears that the United States would need more oil refineries, people are using so much less oil now than they were only two years ago that refineries have shut down in Delaware, New Jersey, California, and New Mexico.

“Gasoline demand, which many analysts had long expected to keep rising for decades, is down sharply in the recession. And refiners are increasingly convinced that even after the economy recovers, demand will not grow much in coming years because of the rise of alternative fuel supplies and the advent of tougher efficiency standards for automobiles.”

The article portrays it as a crisis—for the refineries. But no; it’s also amazing news that people, the little people, can actually rock the economy by doing what we are supposed to do—use less oil. Oil is not being formed as you read this. Our demand is depleting a world supply for two generations from now.

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