From the WSJ back in December '08:
WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama and his energy team could face the most inauspicious climate in years for pushing ahead with their plans to remake U.S. energy strategy.
Mr. Obama plans soon to introduce his energy and environment team, which will include Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as energy secretary and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner as White House energy adviser.
The team's makeup shows that Mr. Obama plans to put a heavy emphasis on combating climate change and promoting technologies to wean the U.S. off imported oil. He is packaging such priorities as a way to boost employment and help the economy by pouring money into efficiency projects.
But the next administration will face a range of obstacles on the energy front, from plummeting oil prices and a declining economy to potential rifts among Mr. Obama's own advisers.
In a sign of one major internal difference, Mr. Chu has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over 15 years to coax consumers into buying more-efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work.
"Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," Mr. Chu, who directs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in September.
But Mr. Obama has dismissed the idea of boosting the federal gasoline tax, a move energy experts say could be the single most effective step to promote alternative energies and temper demand. Mr. Obama said Sunday that a heightened gas tax would be a "mistake" because it would put "additional burdens on American families right now."
No U.S. president has made significant headway altering America's energy habits during a period of falling oil prices. After hitting an all-time peak this summer, U.S. gasoline prices have sunk to their lowest level in years. Experts predict prices will remain weak until the world economy begins to revive.
Dontcha just love experts?
Times Tough for Energy Overhaul - WSJ.com