About three decades ago, the United States badly suffered from high petroleum prices. Now, it's as if it never learned. Petroleum, which primarily comes from countries that cannot really be considered as the best friends of the United States, still hurts the economy. A movement in its price sends fear and anger at its population and yet, almost nothing is being done to reduce the country's dependence upon it.
"US says we can't do better emissions and be competitive (the "pro business" angle), yet China/Japan did - and now US can't even sell cars in China due to our lack of ability to deal with their emissions regulations. And, how are American car companies doing in the global economy? Crappy. This problem is a very good counter example to pure (short term) capatalist thinking - its a case of "short term gain" and "long term" - Al Gore, as quoted here.