In the end everything comes down to energy. Since the price of oil is inelastic - unlike so many other resources if the price goes up we cannot just reduce our use because there really are no alternatives. At some point however there may be a tipping point say to electric cars if we can figure out the storage problem. And solar power in some areas such as Australia and the southwest US is actually more competitive than coal making the utilities antsy with people who are switching to solar.
Elon Musk, who is also co-founder of solar city is talking about building two giga-factories larger than any other factories in the world to make electric batteries. Note that this would also be useful not for electric car owners but solar power users.
Then again it might come from left field with synthetic biology - George Church in Regenesis writes about looking at the extra c02 (from fossil fuels in the atmosphere) and using it as a feedstock for e-coli that could generate bio-diesel - apparently it is supposed to be competitive with oil at $30? a barrel (I’m guessing) but I don’t think the oil industry should count on continuous growth. Even now
many coal mines are being shut down because China has started cracking down on coal power plants and the price of coal has plummeted. As a Canadian we are always hearing about the Alberta oil industry but it is also very expensive to extract and some big players are shutting down projects because so much of it depends on getting the world price - and yet there are few pipelines available (and much opposition rightfully) to take advantage of it.