Former Shell Oil president Jon Hofmeister, who likes to dole out scandalous dirty-energy news items now that he's not trying to run a scandalous dirty-energy corporation, had something very scary to tell North Carolina college students this summer.

WCNC news unfortunately titled the juicy bit “Former Shell Oil president talks about Gulf oil disaster,” which, of course, no one read. National media didn't latch onto the item until this morning, and um… we didn't want to be the black sheep who reported it on time or whatever.

But now that it's out there — $5 per gallon??? What a freaking outrage!

Meanwhile, the rest of the world's all, “Yeah, we know, it sucks. Get used to it.”

According to the sleeper piece:

Hofmeister predicts the U.S. will produce two million fewer barrels of oil each day and with the oil supply dropping, the cost of gas could go up to five dollars a gallon by 2012.

Hofmeister said he doesn't see a short-term solution to the problem, but suggests the U.S. focus on the long-term instead. He recommends the appointment of an independent group to take charge and take politics out of the issue.

Genius! We'll be sure to let Obama know.

Hofmeister recently authored the book “Why We Hate the Oil Companies,” which obviously takes an empathetic stance toward gas-guzzling billionaires, but also reminds us we're not just innocent standerby. After all, there can be no supply without demand.

During the lecture at Queens University of Charlotte — which, judging by the looks of the crowd, only enrolls 80-year-old Republicans — the retired oil mogul totally rips BP a new one for its Gulf of Mexico spill.

“What in the world are they doing continuing operations?” he says. “That's gross human incompetence.”

He then takes a grim stance on the entire state of the nation: “We're standing in gas lines [?] on a continuing regular basis in most parts of the country, and we're experiencing brownouts and blackouts like we're a third-world country.”

The speech, complete with snicker-worthy gesture patterns:

LA Weekly