1. ENERGY POLICY
'Mr. Smith' leaves Washington
New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) has worked with 270 other senators during his 30-year tenure in the Senate, but unlike many of those who have come before him, he's not looking to make a splashy exit. Quiet-spoken Bingaman, 69, is winding down five terms in the Senate and said he's looking forward to heading home to Santa Fe as soon as Congress wraps up its business for the year. Amid a political landscape mired in partisanship, Bingaman, the longtime top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is careful to use the word "we" when discussing his legacy, which he says includes the Senate's passage of sweeping energy bills in 2005 and 2007, its passage of a broad omnibus public lands package in 2009 and its work on energy efficiency.