I was speaking purely from a (non-confrontational) railfanning persective.
You don't have to tell me that railroads run on diesel: I actually pay railroad fuel surcharges every day and very few of my clients like it when I go to them with another 3% increase in rates.
However, even though it's not rail related, I've never balked at helping my employees with putting gas in their cars or paying for a heating bill in the winter if they need it. I make a lot more than they do and there's no reason I shouldn't. How could I tell someone to deny their child a luxury or necessity because they had to spend $50 to fill the tank on their Ford Focus? I'd expect a lonely corner of hell to await me if I were to do such a thing. Some of my employers helped me when I needed it most and it's good to remember that I'm very lucky and blessed compared to many people. When our margin increases, so does the pay of our workers. They are all well worth the money. I expect people who are similarly blessed to do what their conscience tells them is right. If they can afford to help, they should. If they can't, they can't. If your employer or anyone else's can't, they can't. I would doubt if any person would expect any less than that of a good employer.
There are some upsides to higher fuel prices, but I'd imagine that dicussion would probably just turn into another political arguement that would get another thread locked. Higher fuel prices do generally mean that more freight (and people) moves by rail.
More freight on the rails is a good thing from where I stand because my logistics model for a part of the company we're trying develop (construction aggregates) is actually in a sort of transportation "grey area" where both modes make sense from a dollar standpoint, but both also have their advantages and drawbacks. To take the view that high fuel prices mean higher product prices and expand upon it a little: If shorter hauls become economical for railroads again, the supply of available local trucking will increase thus decreasing that part of the pricing structure. Will that decrease in cost associated with the increase in truck supply mitigate the increase in fuel prices? I doubt it, but it just demonstrates how complex the economy is. A lot of what happens in our country is counter-intuitive to what the effect of a change in a given variable might be.
Heck, if we live in a place where a bank can recommend an investment to its customers that is meant to fail while at the same time betting against it, I won't be surprised by anything.
For now, I'll just be happy that this work means the Robbinsville Track is probably safe for a few more years. If I hear anything from Clayton that is public postable I'll put it up for consumption and debate.