Whenever gasoline prices are substantially above historic norms — which they are today, as we don’t need to tell you — energy policy takes center stage in American politics. And whenever pollsters in presidential campaigns find swing states in energy country, you can bet that the stage will be lit like never before.
We all know what President Obama’s selling on this policy stage; spend a ton of federal dollars on “clean energy,” leave no lobbyist left behind (the meaning behind the omnipresent call for an “all of the above energy strategy”), and hope against experience that subsidy can turn ugly economic ducks into beautiful, commercially viable swans. But what of Mitt Romney’s energy sales pitch? It’s better … but not by much.