Gas prices are the Achilles Heel of US economic activity due to the distances the planners have arranged it takes place in and the customs associated with cheap gas. One A2ker admitted to a 40 mile round trip to get a pizza for supper.
That can't go on for ever.
It won't, and not as a result of calamity or decline.
I seriously doubt that any pizza place established with the expectation of being in business for much longer than 12 months is depending upon custom from 20 miles away. Chains, at least, take location very seriously, and the odd transplant from the Northeast who has always dreamed of running a pizzeria, despite living out on the grand praries, won't be in business long enough to register a blip on the radar.
The same can be said for any business that depends upon physical traffic. Very few have the luxury of providing goods or services that cannot be obtained elsewhere and are essential for daily life. I suppose there are still General Stores in remote areas that service a wide, but thinly populated area, but they are hardly driving the economic engine of America.
America's untapped oil and gas resources will eventually be tapped. It will take prices that will drive the casual eco-warriors to join with the earth-rapers and drive Greenies out of office and replace them with plundering pirates.
A century later,when these resources really start to reach terminal levels, we will have developed economically sound energy alternatives.
If left to its own dynamics, the market will sort this out with minimal disruption.
The government can only force the transition and injure the economy and the financial positions of its citizens.