This reflects a central planning mentality that is not only, at least rhetorically, held by the president but by all four of the Republican candidates–including Ron Paul. This is from my friend Ken Green at the Enterprise Blog:
I don’t agree with the whole “all of the above” thing, but most of Mr. Obama’s opponents do in one form or another:
Newt Gingrich: “My administration will pursue an “all of the above” American Energy Policy that allows expanded development of oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, and nuclear sources of energy.”
Mitt Romney: “Government has a role to play in innovation in the energy industry. History shows that the United States has moved forward in astonishing ways thanks to national investment in basic research and advanced technology. However, we should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favored approaches. That is a recipe for both time and money wasted on projects that do not bring us dividends. The failure of windmills and solar plants to become economically viable or make a significant contribution to our energy supply is a prime example.”
“Concentrate alternative energy funding on basic research, utilize long-term, apolitical funding mechanisms like ARPA-E for basic research.”
Rick Santorum: “Expand domestic innovations and energy resources. This includes oil, natural gas, hydro, biomass, wind, solar, clean coal, and nuclear energy.”
Ron Paul: “Make tax credits available for the purchase and production of alternative fuel technologies.”
The fact of the matter is that none of us have any idea whether our energy in the future should come from all of the above, one of the above, or none of the above. this is what markets are for, to week out the inefficient from the efficient. This is not something politicians have or even can be good at.