A while back, I noted with some bafflement that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) of all people was proposing a boost in CAFE standards. Now his fellow Senator is hopping on board the green train too:

[Alaska Sen. Lisa] Murkowski on Tuesday endorsed Stevens’ bill and introduced a companion measure to create tax credits for alternative energy sources and expand and extend those offered on hybrid vehicles. Murkowski’s bill also would launch a study for requiring more efficient commercial trucks.

WTF, you say? Well, in that previous post, I said:

This is Stevens we’re talking about, so an ulterior motive is a mathematical certainty. I suspect he’s making deals or at least trolling for good will to build support for drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

The AP reporter seems to agree:

The approach by Republican Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski is, in part at least, a strategic move in their longstanding effort to open drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

But while this makes some limited sense, all there is by way of evidence is this odd quote from Stevens:

“I think we ought to identify ourselves with the people who say, ‘Look, we want to have as much control as possible over the vehicles that burn this gas that is derived from our oil production,”‘ Stevens said. “I also think we have to stand up to the people that want to stop any development in Alaska because there is excess, in their opinion, excess emissions from the use of automobiles today.”

In short: people want to block drilling in the pristine Alaskan wilderness because cars emit too much CO2 … and if cars emitted less CO2, drilling in the Alaskan refuge would be just fine. Wha?

Stevens sees money in the refuge. He wants it. But dirty hippies who aren’t from Alaska keep stopping him from grabbing it. It’s very frustrating for him. In his pea-sized reptilian brain, he’s struggled to put together some chain of reasoning. “Dirty hippies hate cars. Me give dirty hippies cleaner cars. They leave Hulk alone to drill!”

Our leaders.