Road Warning: $7 Gas May Be Ahead

A new energy report predicts $200-a-barrel oil in as short a time as two years. If that happens, gas would likely go up to $7 a gallon - and that would have an enormous impact on the way Americans live.

Mitchell Igelko in Miami complains rising gas prices are threatening his 20-year-old landscaping business. His two biggest trucks sit idle - he can't afford to fill them up.

Right now, Igelko's business averages $30,000 a month in gas - at $7 a gallon, that would jump to about $50,000 a month, CBS News correspondent Priya David reports.

"I think at that time, I'm gonna put a sign 'gone fishing,'" he said.

Economist Jeff Rubin predicts the $7 mark will arrive by the year 2010.

Hardest hit will be those for those making less than $25,000 a year. For them, gas will go from 7 percent of their income to a whopping 20 percent.

"People are going to be spending more on gas than they are on groceries," said Rubin. "And that's not a sustainable choice."

In fact, by 2012, higher prices could send an additional 10 million vehicles off the road.

It would certainly ease congestion. Having that many cars come off the roads is like permanently parking twice as many cars as there are in the whole state of New Jersey.

Some look to Europe for solutions to the skyrocketing gas prices.

"They drive these nice little cars which maybe we should start doing," one U.S. driver said.

Expensive gasoline has led Europeans to also drive less than we do. In America, over 90 percent of all households commute to work by car. Compare that to just 60 percent of British households.

"People's entire mindset as to what kind of vehicles they drive, where they live, choices they make on holidays, and vacations are going to be quite different, because it's starting to bite," said Joseph Romm of climateprogress.org.

For Mitchell Igelko, $4 gas is trimming his profits, but $7 gas would be a knock-out blow.
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