When driving on the rural byways of the rural Midwest one will find gas stations scarce. But if you look closely enough, in every town, down to the tiniest of unincorporated ones, you will find a place where a gas station once was. Sometimes the building is still there either being used for another propose or simply derelict. Sometimes the lot is empty and the only remaining trace is a small, oval-shaped concrete divider which obviously supported a gas pump at one time.
In the larger towns with more than about 3000 residents the small gas stations have been replaced by larger convenience store gas stations. But in the smaller towns the gas stations have disappeared altogether with no fuel available at all.
If anything our consumption of petroleum has increased by many times. When did these stations begin disappearing? What happened in the oil industry or American culture that made these businesses no longer viable?