Andrew Leonard posts an explanation of why many conservatives hate the the concept of peak oil (and the idea that human activity is causing climate change):
Partisan conservatives pooh-pooh peak oil (and human-caused climate change) because they think that to concede that these challenges are real and must be confronted is to acknowledge that greed is not always good, and that free market capitalism must be restrained, or at least tinkered with substantially. Peak oil and climate change are fronts in the culture wars, and to some conservatives, watching the price of oil rise as the Arctic ice melts, it might feel like being in Germany at the close of World War II, with the Russians advancing on one front while U.S.-led forces come from the other. The propositions that cheap oil is running out and the world is getting hotter — as a result of our own activities — threaten a whole way of life. The very idea that dirty Gaia-worshipping hippies might be right is absolute anathema.
Given that many on the left also see peak oil and climate change as cultural battlefields, as weapons with which to assault enemies whose values they politically and aesthetically oppose (see James Kunstler), it’s no wonder that some conservatives are fighting back like caged rats, or that they want to blame speculators for oil prices, or biased scientists for climate change.
It really is a shame that these issues are subject to such strong partisanship. They’re problems that are going to require cooperation to address.