Let’s drill the Gang of 10

Last week in “McCaining McCain” we found Kimberly Strassel blowing the whistle on the five Republican Senators among the Gang of 10 who are striving to take the energy issue off the table. It’s not a good idea to begin with, but they are striving to do so, as Stassel demonstrated, on terms favorable to the Democrats. Yesterday Strassel returned to the subject in a column reporting on the impact of the Gang of 10 in the Colorado Senate race:

In the past months, [Republlican candidate] Big Oil Bob [Schaffer] has talked mainly energy and all but erased [Democratic candidate Mark] Udall’s lead. The Democrat is so sweating the issue that this week he reversed his position on offshore drilling and began running an ad that claims “America needs to produce its own oil and gas.” A few more reversals like this and the GOP might just have a shot at passing sound energy legislation come September.

Or, maybe not. Any guesses as to Mr. Udall’s other action this week? That’s right. He embraced the Gang of 10’s “compromise.” It wasn’t a huge sacrifice, since the proposal mostly limits drilling to a few coastal states, while spending $84 billion in subsidies primarily for the sort of “green” energy Mr. Udall favors. Meantime, he’s betting the “bipartisan” nature of that bill will provide him political protection against Mr. Schaffer’s attacks, while heading off more aggressive GOP drilling proposals in Congress this September.

Among the five Republican Senators in the Gang of 10 is John McCain’s close friend Lindsey Graham and, unbelievably, South Dakota’s solidly conservative John Thune. Where does Senator McCain himself stand? The most The Hill could extract from Senator McCain’s campaign earlier this week is that Senator McCain “is waiting to see legislative language before taking a position.” Don’t wait too long!

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