I'm a strong believer that energy prices are a significant influence in economic growth. It makes me nervous to have oil over $50 a barrel. I think low energy prices was one of the most overlooked reasons the economy was so strong in the 90s.
I remember getting gas at 86 cents a gallon, and it's now about $1.90 nationally. That's a huge difference on a micro level, and given the multiplier effect it is no surprise that the economy has not been chugging along as swiftly as it might otherwise, particularly when taxes are cut.