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With Senate shift to GOP, Murkowski set to become chair of energy committee

  • Author: Nathaniel Herz
  • Updated: July 3, 2016
  • Published November 4, 2014

An "ebullient" U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said late Tuesday that she wants to "put a hard hat on" and get to work as the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Murkowski, a Republican, is expected to assume the chairmanship of that committee next year following Tuesday's election, which saw her party take control of the Senate from Democrats.

In an interview with Alaska Dispatch News Tuesday night, Murkowski said she plans to work to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico -- which Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had stopped from getting to the floor of the chamber.

Murkowski also says she'll push for exports of liquefied natural gas and oil, which she called an opportunity "that will benefit us in Alaska."

Asked if she planned to support Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell as majority leader, Murkowski said he had not approached her to ask for her backing.

"If he does, I am certainly looking to his leadership," she said.

Murkowski said she expected a Republican Senate to be kept open to amendments from both sides -- unlike the way it was under Reid.

"We are not going to abuse the process," she said. "Mitch McConnell has made that clear."

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