Joe Barton performs duties as the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Read what this entails at the DailyKos. He has previously earned the tagline Barton(R - EXXON), but now appears to operate on vapors alone. Anna The Kossack rightly points out that Barton's Democratic opponent will get less proportional funding and attention than the primary defeat of Joe Lieberman got, who had at least some credentials as an environmentalist. Congressmen like Joe Barton and Richard Pombo remain orders of magnitude worse than Joe Lieberman's record shows.
Neither of these bills has provisions for drilling in the wildlife refuge, but Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, chairman of the House Resources Committee, is expected to hold hearings on the American-Made Energy Freedom Act. The bipartisan House bill proposes to open 1.5 million coastal acres of the 19 million-acre refuge to limited drilling.
Barton and Pombo evidently lives in an alternate-reality universe, not unlike the one that The HumDrum occupies.