Knoxville News Sentinel -
WASHINGTON — Because of many changes in leadership positions this year, new Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander has been awarded chairmanships of two subcommittees that will give him more opportunity to help Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
As chairman of the energy subcommittee of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, his jurisdiction will include all the national laboratories, including Oak Ridge. UT is part of a team with Battelle that manages the huge energy and defense research and development complex of about 400 buildings and 4,500 employees.
Also, the panel oversees nuclear power and alternative power sources - both of which TVA uses. It also will help craft a bill to restructure the electricity industry, which likely will affect TVA's power sales.
His other chairmanship is over the children and families subcommittee of the health and education committee. He said the panel may look at child care, for example, and cultural and entertainment threats that affect children. He formerly helped found a for-profit corporation that handled child care for employees of companies.
Alexander said it is unusual for a new senator to win the leadership posts on two subcommittees, but he is very pleased at the outcome.
As a subcommittee chairman, he will have a budget for extra staff to aid him on research and to plan hearings.