This is how Big Oil will die
Seth Miller

I completely agree with you on all your facts — you’ve laid them out brilliantly. And I’d love to see big oil go the way of Kodachrome.

BUT. And that’s a big but. You’ve missed one VERY important point.

Half our country lives in cities, and for them, life will go exactly the way you’ve described.

But the other half does not live in cities. They will not have access to autonomous rideshare networks. They will not be giving up their off-road-capable 4x4 F-150s and Dodge Rams any time soon.

These are also people who are currently living on the razor-edge, economically speaking. They’re not doing long-term 40-year cost-benefit analyses. They’re trying to figure out how to make their monthly mortgage and car payments.

The economics of rural life mean that a whole lot of internal-combustion engines will remain on road. Beyond the numbers: they also view their gas cars as representations of FREEDOM, while holding electric vehicles as a suspiciously socialistic manifestation of effete urban sophistication. Don’t underestimate the inertial power of conservatism (these are people who still use incandescent bulbs because those OTHER bulbs are “liberal”.)

So don’t write off big oil just yet. But your analysis points to even MORE polarization and disconnect between rural and urban voters over the next 10 years. If you think our country is having a hard time coming to consensus now, imagine what it’ll be like after the autonomous car revolution….