My theory: "Progressives", particularly the watermelon types (green on the outside, red on the inside) believe, like Obama, that our capitalism based economy is evil and must be replaced by a Marxist, egalitarian, share the wealth based society.
This can only happen by destroying the current capitalist system and building their dreamed of Marxist Utopia from the ashes of that system.
If you study the relationship between energy consumption and standard living you will find a strong one to one relationship. When our energy consumption increases our standard of living increases - the machines are doing more of the work and we are doing less. This is, for the greenies the opposite of they want. They need us to experience a falling standard of living so we will revolt, demand government action and turn over the reins of power to the Marxists.
We took the first really big step along that path in 2008, thought better of it in 2010 and it remains to be seen what the American public will do in 2012. I'm hopeful but not confident.
The progressives want 5 people to do the same job, make the same money and get the same benefits.
Then the progressive becomes the administrator of the department, makes more money, gets more benefits and does no work.
Sort of like unions and union bosses.