"Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, is set to become chairwoman next week of the Senate Energy Committee, a powerful position that gives her jurisdiction over the oil and gas industry that fuels her state’s economy — and which will be a major source of contributions to Ms. Landrieu’s tough re-election campaign this fall."
"Senate Democratic leaders are behind the ascent of Ms. Landrieu, who is one of a handful of vulnerable incumbents whose elections could determine whether Democrats retain control of the Senate. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, made sure that Ms. Landrieu — after an unexpected set of dominoes fell in the ranks of the Senate leadership — got the spot. The Senate’s liberals, many of whom have clashed with Ms. Landrieu on environmental issues, chafe at her new role. But for now, they are staying quiet about a move that could give Democrats an edge in an important race.
Unlike many Democrats, Ms. Landrieu typically votes with Republicans on energy policy. She supports more offshore drilling and the Keystone XL oil pipeline. She has voted at least 11 times against proposals to curb climate change by regulating greenhouse gas emissions. 'I’m proud to be from a state with a 100-year-plus tradition of the energy industry,' Ms. Landrieu said Thursday in an interview. 'It’s really exciting to represent my state and my region in this way.'"