I'd say this is welcome news, and something we should have done a long time ago. The writer of the article seems to take the viewpoint that this is going to destroy the economy, but it might be the one thing that saves us.
The first step in lessening our financial dependence on the Mideast is to stop using them as a secondary currency market. It is also the first step in preventing the real problem surrounding large-scale alternatives to oil: the dollar is now backed by oil as its major commodity, and so lessening the influence of oil would hurt the dollar. Doing it slowly will allow for adjustments which, while still painful, will be less traumatic than an abrupt change.