American minds are churning feverishly trying to embrace a stark contradiction. While the easiest and highest payoff to address our energy "crisis" is conservation, we just don't wanna.
Without a doubt, a stiff gas tax would shift many of us to efficient vehicles, add no-till acres, and boost public transit. But we seem to want it both ways - cheap energy and efficient use.
I know, let's pass a law!
Well, we kinda did a few years ago and guess what? It didn't work. Looky, there is a good reason Toyota/Honda/et al are kicking tailpipes in the American market. Americans may be unrealistic, but we are not permanently stupid.
The marketplace for energy will sort this out as fairly as can be done.