The price of oil doesn't have to rise very much to make the Fischer-Tropsch process economically feasible. Fischer-Tropsch converts any hydrocarbon source (coal, natural gas, etc) into liquid fuels. The Air Force has certified most (all?) of its fleet to fly on a 50/50 blend of a petroluem jetfuel and synthetic jetfuel.
This process can produce gasoline or any other liquid fuel as well as the kerosene-like jet fuel.
The problem is that it pretty much has to be be subsidized not to make it economically feasible in and of itself, but to prevent foreign oil producers from artificially manipulating the market to eliminate the threat the process creates to their economies. Any investment into F/T technologies will be lost if OPEC pushes gasoline prices down. But failing to make this (and similar alternative energy investments) puts no pressure on OPEC to keep prices low.
F/T plants, in cooperation with energy producers, can help level loads. Instead of adjusting generation capacity constantly to match the load, generation capacity can be kept at an efficient, nearly constant output, and F/T operations can produce liquid fuels whenever excess capacity is present due to lower consumer demand.
We work together every damn day. --Jon Stewart