I read your post hacfred, and I agree with you on a lot of the topics. I am from Houston, actually Sugar Land, and I faced some of the same problems you addressed. When I had my internships in Houston, the offices are in downtown, and I'm living in the suburbs. First, I chose to live at home to save some money. I'd rather not pay something like $600-1000 for rent when I don't have to. Yes, I know this means that instead of possibly walking or biking to work, I'm driving instead. But instead of saying I'm addicted to oil or cars, I'd rather save some money.
However, I see your point on incentive, but I'll raise you. When I had to commute, I had options other than just driving the 30 miles to downtown. Sometimes a few co-workers and I would carpool to work. This can be a bit problematic at times with people having different schedules and even when a determined one is set, for people to show up on time. Not to mention riding with some people can be annoying, to put it nicely.
So another option which I took sometimes was the Park and Ride option. There are a few of these available, and from my experience, they're pretty efficient. There are multiple areas where you can drive your car and park it in a lot, then take the bus which comes every 10 minutes or so. This way, the individual cars' drive time is reduced, and maybe this can help with the environment and "addiction."
So while they are far and few between, the options are there, and I think we just have to make the conscious effort (easier said than done). And no steak for me, thank you. I'm a vegetarian.