WASHINGTON —U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday found herself in line to possibly chair the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, if she wins re-election next year.
The dominoes are set to potentially fall in place for her after it was announced that U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., would retire and not seek re-election in 2014.
Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee and that would open the seat. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is next in line of seniority to replace Baucus as the finance chairman.
Assuming Wyden makes the switch, Landrieu, D-La., would then be next up to head the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
For this to happen, Landrieu would have to win re-election and the Democrats also would have to retain control of the Senate.
Landrieu is a top GOP target for 2014 and her only announced opponent thus far is U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge. State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Chas Roemer, of Baton Rouge, also has said he is still considering running.
Chairing the top Senate energy committee would give Landrieu the opportunity to push her agenda for increased domestic energy production and more revenue sharing for Louisiana and other states that produce energy offshore.
Landrieu’s FAIR Act — Fixing America’s Inequity with Revenues Act — is expected to go before the energy committee later this year. The legislation would expedite and increase the revenue sharing of offshore oil-and-gas production with Louisiana and other coastal states.