Quick: Name one thing mainstream Republicans and Democrats agree on when it comes to energy policy. Other than that both sides would like it to be cheaper, you're probably drawing a blank.
That's why there was something a little quixotic in President Obama's call last week, during his State of the Union address, urging Congress to get together and pursue "a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change." It's pretty far-fetched to imagine congressional Republicans pursuing a costly new program, market based or not, positing the solution to a climate problem many believe don't exist.
The depth of the ideological chasm on this issue was expressed nicely just a week before Obama's speech, when Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), whose position as ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources makes her a key architect of her party's energy policy, put out a 121-page blueprint outlining her vision. This sets up an amusing thought exercise: What would a comprehensive, bipartisan energy bill look like?
For one thing, it wouldn't be 121 pages. Murkowski's plan shows that the similarities between GOP and Democratic thought would take up only a page or two. Not that many of the goals aren't the same: Both sides favor improved energy efficiency, increased independence from OPEC and other foreign sellers, and more financing for "advanced" power. But the ways they would approach these goals are poles apart.