Feb 11, 2014 5:19 PM by Dave Fields
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., will chair the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as a result of a U.S. States Senate Democratic Caucus vote today.
Landrieu expressed her enthusiasm for her new role on the committee.
"I am excited and honored to lead this committee that is so critical to Louisiana and the nation's economic vitality, job creation and energy security," Landrieu said.
"I'm humbled to be a part of the long list of pro-energy senators from both parties who have led this committee with strength, vision and distinction, including one of Louisiana's finest, J. Bennett Johnston," she added.
This influential committee is responsible for energy and job creation policy for the United States. It has been nearly 20 years since a Louisiana senator led this key committee.
Read more about Sen. Landrieu's strong domestic energy production record below.
The U.S. Senate will take a formality vote this Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, when Landrieu officially will assume her leadership role on the committee.
Landrieu explained what she plans to do once she takes the helm of the committee.
"During the coming weeks and months, I will remain focused on moving an agenda forward that is inclusive, bipartisan and focused on the job creation that America needs and wants," she said.
"Everything we do will be part of helping to build the middle class and expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs in the domestic energy sector. Increasing domestic energy production and fortifying and expanding the infrastructure that connects producers, refiners and consumers will help us achieve this goal."
"When we tap into energy here at home, we produce high-paying jobs right where we need them. These jobs pay the kind of wages and salaries that allow families to buy homes, save for the future and build wealth.
"As energy production on federal lands increases, we have a responsibility to promote policies that invest in local communities that host energy and other natural resources production. The federal government should extend the smart partnership that inland states currently enjoy to coastal states like Louisiana and other resource-rich states, like Alaska, to advance this energy revolution, manufacturing renaissance and job creation.
Landrieu expressed the need for partnerships on the committee.
"Louisiana and Alaska share a natural friendship and values from our fisheries and energy production to great outdoors, " Landrieu explained. "I look forward to working with all the members of this committee to safely produce the energy America needs and promote strong trading alliances that will create good jobs and a prosperous future for our nation."
As a senator, Landrieu has advocated for and passed legislation that has increased domestic energy production. She also helped to pass Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), which opened more than 8.3 million new acres for drilling in the Gulf.
Landrieu was instrumental in the 2010 blocking of the Jack Lew nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget until the President Obama administration agreed to lift its deep-water moratorium.
More recently in 2012, Congress passed the bipartisan Restore Act sponsored by Sen. Landrieu and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., which was authored to direct 80 percent of the BP oil spill fines back to five Gulf Coast states.