Use ONE only year round formulation for gasoline and diesel. Only ONE. Allow the refiners to gear up and produce this in spades. The more they produce of one formulation the more efficient they will get recovering more and more from narrow cracking procedures.
Abolish public education under the age of 13 -- Full Stop. Home, church and chartered coop neighborhood schools do so much better than all the teacher union driven messes called schools do now. Oh, it would be publicly funded, but privately run. Think of the fuel just closing those big drafty buildings would save. PLUS, think of the savings from all the wasted money on school busing little kids. Then, if a child graduates from elementary school (8th grade) they can go on to "Prep" school or another route like a technical school for a couple years. That would use SOME of the buildings and we could bus some of those kids but some of those kids would stay in dorms on campuses. The better buildings could be used for Prep schools, the poorer ones in a city converted to living quarters. Public education has failed horribly in the USA, let's put a fork in it and save fuel we waste doing nothing.
Recognize that Kyoto, carbon dioxide reduction and all related is inconsequential to the natural cycle of climate change. Pollution in sparse population centers is not an issue. If a coal plant somewhere in the Dakotas or Wyoming is located a hundred miles from any Major population areas then let her rip. Take off all restraints, scrubbing, all the other foolishness. Burn all the coal you can an generate electricity. Some of that electricity can be used to create liquid fuels from coal.
Quit creating ethanol at a net BTU loss. It wastes fuel, unless we can do it burning other lost resources such as used tires. Tires should be used as a fuel source in coal plants and these ethanol plants to capture the liquid oil sluffed off for refining. You get a lot of liquid oil from a single tire when you burn it.
Make backhaul trucking a reality again. There are too many trucks making too many empty trips because they can charge consumers for the whole turn. Trucking has become an inefficient transportation system. Mandate a load both ways. Use the ICC to influence truckers to maximize the use of the fuel they are buying. Finding a back haul is a lost art for many truckers. Too many trucks are dead heading home wasting fuel.
Limit the amount of police do patrolling in vehicles (read that just driving around wasting gasoline). Put cops on the beat on feet. Use technology to dispatch for emergencies. There are too many cops on the road and not enough ready to respond. In the 50's the amount of driving around was unthinkable. And, some of that neighborhood patrolling can be done in very high mileage automobiles or on Segways, Bikes or electric vehicles. In Germany all the patrol cars are little tiny Volkswagens or Bicycles. Not the big gas guzzlers we use in the USA.
OFF ROAD. Agriculture should pay the same price for fuel as everyone else, tax included, as should construction. Fuel is fuel and the advantage causes uses that are not worthwhile. It's false competition for resources.
Burn wood instead of Heating oil in centralized outdoor boilers. Use high smoke stacks to shunt the smoke high into the air and avoid local pollution. If every freestanding community under 5000 population in America allowed this for homes heated currently using oil to heat hot water boilers it would save huge amounts of fuel for other purposes, not provide any serious pollution since it's only in very small towns and it has a zero net effect on CO2 generation if that's a concern for you. One wood boiler per block would heat all the homes on that block for far less money than we are spending now. Plus it would use surplus wood for fuel saving landfill space and cleaning up the underbrush in forests. Most of these big boilers only need to be stoked once per day. They are sophisticated operations. People would only pay based on the heat they use.
Make it legal with incentives to burn used engine oil, waste oil, lard, cooking oils, industrial oils, any oils for energy production. This could be implemented thru adaptive technologies for commercial businesses. Recovery of these oils adds back to liquid fuels. The fact that we waste ANY liquid oil in any form whatsoever in any way is a crime. It should all be burned.
For anyone who currently own an automobile older than 1987 can turn it in for a subsidized purchase of an automobile that gets 27 MPH highway. These transactions would have far more incentive and effect than the current foolish incentives to buy a hybrid car. The net effect would be getting a large number of 15 MPH vehicles off the road in favor of those that get 27 MPH. This is a financing tax incentive program and would have the most impact on the fuel use. It is a zero cost impact on the government.
All of these things could be done in 6 months and would have an impact on oil usage.
Commercial and municipal buildings heated by oil to be converted to Natural Gas, coal or some other form. Remember, the shortage is LIQUID fuel. Not gas.
Airlines should do ride consolidations. Some flights shouldn't be made. Before deregulation you could in fact fly any flight with any flight coupon. That saved fuel.
Get all permits for state of the art refining systems on line now. Same for all permits for Nuclear. If we are going to become energy independent we are going to need alternatives.
The conversion of poly and tires and any other organic materials to liquid oil and gas is very exciting. The technology exists.
The apparent practicality to take 10 million acres of the poorest desert (about 1/6th the size of Nevada) and waste land in areas near the ocean to produce algae that is 50% oil is an expensive undertaking but very practical. 10 million acres replaces all the oil we use now. It could be distributed into 250 acre farms. This is something needing to be done quickly.
Human and animal waste streams should be bioreduced to produce methane (natural gas). It is a crime to sluff off these gasses without making use of them.
We can and should be smarter in freeing up liquid fuels for transportation and use the easier to find gas and alternative fuels quickly. The technology exists to do all this.
I didn't mention wind and photo voltaic power. Frankly it's a long way off and still a pipe dream. IF there were a power shortage after we crank up more coal and nuclear plants in more places and let em rip. Supplement if you want the wind and solar but it's peanuts.
Anyone have any other ideas? I know there is stupid waste in the system I know someone can put their finger on and we can put our finger in the leaky liquid fuels dike.