Interesting Note on Oil Prices and Industry Foresight
Related to today’s fuel efficiency story: America’s automakers are hardly the first folks to forge a business plan based on low oil costs (only to have the plan bite them later.) The twin towers of the World Trade Center, constructed during an era of low oil prices in the 1960s, were built without light switches. Engineers at the time crunched the numbers and found that it would be cheaper to leave the lights on 24/7 than to install the hardware to turn them off.
When oil prices jumped in the 1970s, the wisdom of that decision was proven false. Light switches were installed shortly thereafter.