"What I want is some breathing space so we can take two years, so we can think together as a body and come together with an energy solution,” said Rockefeller. “I am ready for that. We need that time.”

But Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinDem senator: Don't let leaks distract from real issue of Russian interference Washington-area lawmakers request GAO report on DC Metro Warren wants briefing on probe into Trump ally MORE (D-M.D.) said the bill would harm domestic-energy interests.

"The uncertainty of a two-year delay is more than two years and puts American energy at a disadvantage to foreign energy companies," Cardin said.

Sen. Jim InhofeJames InhofeA guide to the committees: Senate GOP considers ways to ‘modernize’ endangered species law GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau MORE (R-Okla.), who is a co-sponsor of the permanent ban, also criticized the plan, saying it simply delayed the inevitable.

"It doesn’t really accomplish anything. It just delays for two years,” said Inhofe. “If you are going to have a root canal, does it really help to wait two years?”