Senate Democrat Mark Udall wants the people of Colorado to know that he supports the U.S. exporting natural gas. House Republican Cory Gardner wants them to know that he also backs that plan.
But that's not the only desire they share: Both want to win Udall's Senate seat in the November election.
And with support for natural-gas exports newly in vogue in Congress thanks to Vladimir Putin's aggressive moves in Russia, both candidates are racing for the role of exports' biggest supporter.
Udall is claiming that he planted the flag first, pointing to a bill he introduced March 5 that would expedite Energy Department approval of gas exports to World Trade Organization members. Gardner introduced a similar measure March 6, but Udall took a Tuesday Senate hearing as an opportunity to note his chronological supremacy.
"Shortly after introducing my legislation, my home-state colleague Representative Gardner presented a virtually identical measure in the House which will be marked up soon, and I welcome him in joining me in this effort," Udall said at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on gas exports Tuesday. Gardner was unavailable for comment.
So what does any of this have to do with Putin?