The continued bickering between Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama continues to be a major stumbling block for the industry. The list of industry projects and initiatives that are being undermined grows on a daily basis. These projects include offshore leasing, the Keystone XL Pipeline, hydraulic fracturing, and exporting LNG. It would be nice, I suppose, to assume that this only happens with Democrats in the White House and Republicans in Congress. But given how many different administrations from both parties have tried to create a national energy policy and how all of those efforts have foundered, it is obvious that partisanship continues to impact policy to the detriment of the country -- not just between political parties but also between regions of the country, and consumers and producers. During this administration, more than others, the partisanship seems to be much more bitter and divisive. How will the country be able to overcome such rancor? Why has it been so hard to generate an energy policy given the importance of energy in every country? Those are questions we may never answer, but we at least need to come close. It is interesting to watch other countries be clear on energy policy. Perhaps being the largest energy user in the world and expecting that energy will always be there has tainted our way of looking at a policy aimed at keeping the US running. With competition increasing for the remaining energy supplies and environmental considerations driving fuel choices, it would seem that having an energy policy would be even more important in today’s world. Given our reliance on information technology and its need for energy to keep going, we may be headed for a different kind of logjam that we may not be ready to unravel. What if the power plants were idled and the computers shut down? Would that make it important enough to finally devise an energy policy? I would be interested in hearing some solutions to this problem. We do need an energy policy, and we can’t wait for an emergency to create it. Contact the author, Scott Weeden, at