Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has confirmed today that she will take the position as Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as soon as next week. (See previous post dated December 31, 3013.)
The previous chairman - Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) - is expected to be approved as Chair of the Finance Committee, and with his departure from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee (the "Committee"), Sen. Landrieu’s assent is imminent. Sen. Landrieu has identified oil exports as an issue that will need to be revisited by the Committee, and, as we previously reported, Senator Landrieu has consistently supported the export of liquefied natural gas from the shores of Louisiana. As a Democrat, Landrieu’s policies and positions concerning oil and gas have been controversial in her party. Today, the League of Conservation Voters gave Sen. Landrieu’s voting record a score of 69% - the lowest among any Senate Democrat this year. Sen. Wyden received a score of 100%.
Sen. Landrieu’s assent to the Chair is a positive outcome for the oil and gas industry, as she has consistently pushed for the expansion of offshore drilling, as well as the Keystone XL pipeline. However, analysts indicate that Sen. Landrieu is likely to have a tight race for re-election in the fall, and her more conservative positions on energy development will likely help her re-election bid.