@ GenevaMech- One of the most interesting ideas I have heard so far is to create a price floor for fossil fuel based energy. This is much different from a tax or cap and trade system, and it would create a stable market for alternative energy sources. This would also bring stability to the fossil fuel energy market, take some of the power away from OPEC, and lessen the impact of speculators. A price floor also causes steady increases in efficiency, and reductions in consumption. Best of all, the country still benefits when oil prices are low.
For example, if a price floor of $100 per barrel were set, the federal government would tax anything below this price while anything above this price would be left as is. At today's price, the government would receive about $27 per barrel. The revenue stream from this could go into a fund to increase R&D in energy, cleaning up super fund sites, infrastructure improvements, etc. The OPEC nations would not be able to control (increase) American consumption by reducing prices. This would actually reduce their oil revenue, thus reducing their ability to subsidize their own energy. Their energy subsidies are what prevent their people from pushing back against their authoritarian regimes. It would be a way to influence foreign policy by focusing on domestic policy.