Obama to Host Bipartisan Senate Meeting Next Week on Energy

Posted June 16, 2010 at 4:19pm

President Barack Obama will meet with a bipartisan group of Senators on June 23 to discuss the path forward for comprehensive energy legislation, a White House aide confirmed Wednesday.

Among those invited to the meeting are Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the aide said.

Obama has been trying to jump-start stalled energy reform legislation in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill, which he has referred to as “a wake-up call” on the need for reform.

Lugar said Obama personally called him Tuesday to ask for his support on the issue. The president also called Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) on Tuesday and met with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Wednesday.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Obama decided to hold next week’s meeting to try to bring “bipartisan members who worked on this in the Senate to the White House to get the best ideas from all the legislation to address it on a comprehensive basis.”

He noted that the House already passed its energy bill last year and called it a “lost opportunity” if the Senate did not act on the issue now.

“Never allow a good crisis to go to waste when it’s an opportunity to do things that you have stopped yourself from doing before,” Emanuel said Tuesday on PBS’ “Charlie Rose.”