Knoxville News Sentinel: Alexander appointed to Senate's energy, resources committee

Posted on January 4, 2013

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has landed a position on the committee that oversees the nation's energy policy and natural resources, giving him more influence on everything from nuclear waste to national parks to water projects.

The Maryville Republican has been appointed to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for the 113th Congress, which opened Thursday.

Alexander also is expected to continue as the lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, which he said would position him to continue his work to strengthen Oak Ridge National Laboratory and rebuild Chickamauga Lock.

In addition, Alexander is expected to be chosen later this month as the lead Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is among the chamber's largest committees. The panel oversees the health care industry as well as education and should play a pivotal role in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind school-reform law.

"I welcome this opportunity because Tennessee has become a leader in health care and education innovation," Alexander said. "My committee assignments will also give me an opportunity to continue fighting for policies that bring lots of cheap, clean energy to Tennessee, as well as working to rebuild our waterways, which grows our economy and allows the private sector to create good jobs."

Because of his new position on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Alexander will step down from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He will remain on the Senate Rules Committee.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, a Chattanooga Republican, is set to become the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee later this month. He also will continue to serve on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the Senate's Special Committee on Aging.

Corker is stepping down from his position on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.