There may be a more naive view of Big Green's political prospects somewhere in the liberal world …

… but I have yet to find it anywhere.

Here's what columnist Paul Krugman will reportedly say in Sunday's edition of The New York Times concerning the prospects for President Obama's green energy programs, including the cap-and-trade anti-global warming program:

“[T]he immediate prospects for climate action do not look promising … Yet the issue isn't going away. There's a pretty good chance that the record temperatures the world outside Washington has seen so far this year will continue … And … given the twists and turns of American politics in recent years, … there has to be a real chance that political support for action on climate change will revive. If it does, the economic analysis will be ready. We know how to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. We have a good sense of the costs – and they're manageable. All we need now is the political will.”

Word of this Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy – to be entitled “Building a green economy” – comes the same week as Gallup finds that for the first time in the decade it has been asking the question, significantly more Americans (50 percent) believe energy development should get a higher priority than environmental concerns (43 percent). Note, too, that the Gallup survey was done before President Obama's new faux OCS development policy was announced:

“The current data represent a continuing shift in opinion toward energy production. Since 2007, when Americans' preferences for environmental protection were the greatest (58% to 34%), Americans' opinions have shown significant movement each year in the direction of prioritizing energy production. This change has been evident among nearly every major demographic subgroup, although self-identified liberals have remained relatively steadfast in saying the environment should be a higher priority.”

To be sure, Gallup notes in the same survey that a majority continue to view energy conservation as a higher priority than increased production of oil, natural gas, and coal:

“At the same time, Americans continue to advocate greater energy conservation by consumers (52%) over greater production of oil, gas, and coal supplies (36%) as a means of solving the nation's energy problems. Americans have always come out in favor of greater consumer conservation, though this year marks the highest percentage favoring production (by a percentage point) in the last 10 years.”

But that response must be put in context, too: Americans have yet to experience the full dimensions of energy costs after they “necessarily skyrocket” as Obama says they must when his “green energy” programs mature and replace the traditional, still-plentiful and much cheaper fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal.

At least when gas prices soar past the $4 per gallon mark and monthly utility bills across the country double and triple under Obama's programs, it will be interesting to watch how the Krugmans of the world explain that!

Beltway ConfidentialenergyenvironmentUS

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