Electric cars and electric trucks
Since cars and trucks account for over 60% of oil consumed, it would be critical to make cars and trucks electric, so that they can use renewable sources of energy.
However, there are problems with this approach. If we assume actually-existing technology, then we see that electric cars cannot, within the economic reach of the vast majority of Americans, go as fast or as far, and with the same amount of room, that current gas-powered cars can go. This proposed program will assume that Americans will go along with this change. Perhaps they will realize that the cost of gasoline will continue to rise; perhaps, in the 20 year time frame presented here, the younger generations will not be so enamored of long-distance car travel; perhaps, after some climate disasters, people will get serious about decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. In any case, if we are serious about avoiding ecological and economic technologies, we will at least consider what will be required to move to what will be relatively slow, small, short-distance vehicles.
If personal vehicles are relatively slow and short-distance, the further culturally difficult concept will be to densify towns and cities so that people will not need to drive, say, more than 15 miles to get to a train station to go somewhere relatively far away. If an electric car does not go more than 30 miles per hour, then 15 miles will take 30 minutes. However, if cars are only moving at 30 mph, deaths and major injuries will be drastically reduced, which would relieve major stresses on the health and welfare systems.
Trucks, too, would have to be small and slow, used mainly to move goods from the rail station in town to the commercial buildings which would not be far away.
It may be possible that, with the bulk of oil-based vehicles being retired (and hopefully recycled), gasoline prices would actually drop for the remaining gasoline-powered vehicles. These would include emergency vehicles, and military vehicles. Also, there may be some rural needs that could only be filled with internal combustion engines, although perhaps some of the fuel for these could be provided by biomass.
About 1 million people now have jobs manufacturing automobiles. If we assume we will need only half as many electric cars, we can start our speculations by assuming that there will be 500,000 jobs left. There are millions of people employed in other auto-related industries; if we assume that manufacturing will account for one quarter of all automobile industries, then there might be 2,000,000 total electric car and truck related jobs.
This calculation assumes that there is no cost to the government, because people will pay the full cost for cars.