"Lately I’ve seen this idea in several places, that governments should intervene to ensure that gasoline (or coal etc.) stays above a certain price — $4.00 per gallon of gasoline, for instance — so that consumers, entrepreneurs, utility companies, auto makers et al. will know that they can never expect a return of lower fuel prices, and therefore ought to turn their efforts to conservation, alternative energy sources, and so on. Whether the idea should be pursued, I don’t know." – that depends on what the goal is. if it is to compel real, fundamental change in our consumption habits – at any cost – then yes. if it's to continue pulling the band-aid off slowly, then no.