An opinion piece by David Brooks in The New York Times in April 2010 compares contemporary energy innovation to nineteenth century American railroad legislation.
"After the legislation was approved in 1862, there were continual setbacks. The Union Pacific Railroad languished. Scandals mounted. Yet despite it all, the final spike was hammered into place at Promontory Point, Utah, in 1869, linking the nation and heralding a new burst of prosperity. When you read that history, you're reminded that large efforts are generally plagued by stupidity, error and corruption. But by the sheer act of stumbling forward, it's possible, sometimes, to achieve important things."