Speculation was a factor, and the reduction in demand associated with the recession is also a factor in the price we see today; although, the Chinese now want to drive cars too so this is going to impact demand for oil beyond that of western society. No matter the historical pinpoint of where peak oil may have occurred, or may occur in the future, society needs to make a course correction no matter what price we see at the pump.
Did you see "Who Killed the Electric Car?" I realize there is a degree of skepticism associated with the movie, but I think this is the way to go. We need more R&D for batteries and capacitors to help with fast charging times and to minimize costs for long driving trips. Electric cars should be made available in an effort to help develop a market, despite the small commercial footprint.
If you did not see the video, you can find it here online:
Here is another area where we dropped the ball despite any criticism: