In contrast to the candidates, John Tierney does a nice job of laying out the proper role of government: it should impose a carbon tax, then promptly step aside*. It should then watch from the sidelines to see which technologies private industry chooses to invest in and build.
In the comments to Tierney's article, Amory Lovins chimes in:
“Nuclear power and all other ways to produce or save energy should be allowed to compete fairly, at honest prices, regardless of their type, technology, size, location, or ownership.”Glenn Reynolds & Dr. Helen interview interviewed Lovins a few months ago.
* Note: Stepping aside means eliminating energy production subsidies for all types of energy: nuclear, oil, gas, coal, wind, solar, geothermanl, and so on. Note, however, that the federal government should fund basic scientific research and early stage R&D for a variety of energy technologies.