An interesting read at smh.com.au called For Earth, a carbon price is priceless.
Summerised the idea is that we need a carbon tax to push investment into energy generation that doesn't emit CO2 as the current fuel alternatives, coal to fuel, tar sands oil extraction, oil shale extraction, all produce alot more carbon dioxide than normal crude from the ground. All of these have fairly low break even points compared to the current price of oil.
After reading it I remembered back to the 1970's oil crisis's and how one of the factors screwing up supply back then was artificial scarcity when I think the United States government decreed that already proven oil was to be sold at the pre crisis price and newly found oil was to tbe sold at the market rate. In effect creating an incentive to find more oil. The problem was that those with proven reserves simply stopped selling oil creating an artificial scarcity.
Anyway the idea popped into my head that perhaps one of the factors contributing to record oil prices is that markets are factoring in a future carbon tax. Which would mean that it is beyond OPECs power to lower oil prices. Infact it is beyond any oil producer to lower oil prices because at some point in the future oil pumped from the ground is going to be one hell of alot more expensive thanks to a carbon tax. Or to put it another way the only way oil prices are going down is if world governments decide that there are worse things people can be doing than emitting carbon dioxide and get over this whole carbon dioxide hysteria and tackle some real, present day, quantifiable problems.