There's no small bit of irony here. A century ago, populists on the left rose to prominence by condemning the moneyed interests, and in particular, the big banks and the railroads. The Populist Party Platform of 1892 said that "the people must own the railroads." And yet now, in the name of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the environmental left could hand the railroads a major windfall and get nothing in return but a symbolic victory.
Condemning the oil industry, holding rallies, and getting arrested at the White House is easy. Preventing the world's single most important commodity from getting to the marketplace? That's a lot harder.
Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author, most recently, of "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future."