Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, now a partner with Ballard Spahr, told the REFF Wall Street conference that the White House needs to lead in development of a comprehensive energy policy. Mr. Rendell accused Congress of focusing on the 2012 elections instead of working on energy issues.

"We're diddling around on B.S. while the rest of the world is out there kicking our butt," he said.