It's hard to see Republicans and Democrats coming together on an energy bill anytime soon.
Divisions over energy policy emerged as Tuesday’s Senate session began. Early in the morning, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) shifted the morning’s discussion to energy. McConnell criticized President Obama’s timing in wanting to draft a new energy policy.
“The president said it was not a meeting about the oil spill which has been going on for 72 days now,” McConnell said. Yesterday, Obama met with 23 senators including seven Republicans to discuss drafting a new energy policy.
McConnell says energy policy should not be priority right now. “The left-wing wish-list can wait; fixing this problem should be the top priority.” McConnell said the energy policy right now should be to “fix the leak!”
Of course, this is Washington, where one sound bite deserves another. Enter Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
Durbin's response: “I have three words: Drill, baby, drill!” Durbin went on to undress the appropriateness of “Drill, baby, drill” as a Republican slogan during the 2008 presidential campaign. “It was an irresponsible chant that failed to address the most challenging issue of our time: the future of America’s national energy picture.”
The McConnell-Durbin exchange set off a lengthy debate about energy policy that ended when the morning’s business shifted to confirming David Petraeus to head U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.
Just when you thought nothing bipartisan could happen in Washington, Petraeus was confirmed 99-0. Perhaps Petraeus can head over to the EPA when he's done with Afghanistan and we can be done with this whole energy policy thing.