Apparently the GOP substitute amendment for the Waxman-Markey bill is called the New Manhattan Project. As it happens, the policy initiatives outlined in the bill don’t appear to resemble the Manhattan Project in any particularly clear way, which I suppose is for the best since developing an innovative new super-weapon is unlikely to solve any of our energy problems.
That said, doesn’t it seem noteworthy that the original Manhattan Project was just the kind of big government boondoggle that contemporary conservatives would lambaste as doomed to failure? After all, central planning doesn’t work. If you want a usable nuclear weapon, you need to cut taxes on capital gains and marginal rates on high-income individuals. That will spur investment and innovation. Everyone knows that! After all, that’s why NASA had to fake the Moon landing.