ENERGY FOR ALL....

ENERGY FOR ALL. I'm at America in the World, a joint conference by the Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation. According to my program (can't follow the action without one...), we're "forging a new vision for foreign policy and international security." I'm struck, though, by the topic of the first panel: "The Energy, The Environment, and National Security." A few years ago, everyone was complaining that Democrats needed a national security vision. They got one. But it's about global warming.

Energy security has become the unifying force in Democratic foreign policy. Doesn't matter if you're a conservationist or an interventionist or an environmentalist or a dove -- everyone agrees that we should use less foreign oil, less oil, less carbon, and do more to forestall global warming. It's popular with the voters (at least in a theoretical way -- we'll see what happens when someone tries a carbon tax), and the various elements of the strategy achieve buy-in from portions of the Democratic coalition that are generally at odds with one another. I can't quite decide if the subject is acting in a complementary way to a straight national security policy, or serving as a substitute for an issue Democrats are still uncomfortable talking about, but energy's sudden preeminence in these discussions is worth keeping an eye on.

--Ezra Klein

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