I think that all this foofaraw about the wreckage of America's economy if we pull away from petroleum-centered industry is absolute poppycock. Over at The Swanky Conservative I've had a quite animated back-and-forth with Mr. Swanky himself. Below is my latest response about what could be America's leading foray into clean, sustainable industry:
The cutbacks on industry are already happening. It's well-known that automobiles emit 58% of the chemicals that react to form ozone and about a third of the CO2 that is trapped in our atmosphere annually. More and more people are choosing their next automobile purchase to be a more efficient, foreign-made model that is more likely to pollute less and cost less (due to decreased overhead for the lack of auto-worker unions).
What you probably didn't know is that energy-producing enterprise, or what most people would refer to as "power plants," is one of the most regulated industries next to medical manufacturers, big tobacco and petroleum. Coal-burning power plants have made huge strides in recapture and carbon sequestration, but they are becoming outdated by cleaner-burning natural gas. However, neither is optimal, and nuclear power is like masturbation; when you're done doing your business you have a whole lot of really gross stuff that you won't want to clean up.
So, let's put our money where our mouths are and start building up domestic businesses based on Earth-centered ethics, like renewable or sustainable power (Wind, Solar, hydroelectricity, biomass, etc.), zero-pollutant industry, hydrogen fuel cells and better streamlined recycling. Then as we build these businesses with greater capital that we're saving by taxing the businesses who are not crossing over to cleaner, more responsible industry, we'll gradually have a shift, which may take a little while (10-20 years) but the benefits will be astounding and won't be the harsh transition that you fear (the '70s were only a decade, right? and the trouble you speak of was what, in the period of 5 years?).
Dry your tears, little neocon. Buck up and just do what's right. Remember, just because it's dictated by the free market doesn't mean that it's moral.