FACTBOX-Views of Republicans to lead key energy committees

WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Republicans have gained
control of the U.S. House of Representatives, picking up at
least 60 seats and virtually destroying President Barack
Obama’s hopes of moving on comprehensive energy legislation in
the new Congress.

Republicans have opposed ideas such as cap-and-trade energy
policy and relying heavily on renewables to solve America’s
energy problems and instead will support expanded use of
traditional energy sources.

Here are the Republicans likely to head key committees that
will shape energy legislation during the next Congress:

House Natural Resources Committee

Representative Doc Hastings of Washington is the top
Republican on the committee, which has jurisdiction over most
of the nation’s public lands. During the new Congress, Hastings
— who has held the office since 1994 and founded the
Congressional Nuclear Cleanup Caucus — is expected to push for
expanding oil and gas drilling on public lands and offshore.

“New offshore drilling would create over a million new jobs
at no cost to American taxpayers – in fact it would actually
make taxpayers money,” Hastings wrote in a March editorial in
The Washington Times.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Hastings said the
committee will question White House decisions on offshore
drilling and other issues.

“Through the responsible stewardship of our natural
resources we can put Americans to work, strengthen our economy
and protect the environment,” Hastings said in the statement.
“This includes increasing domestic energy production through an
all-of-the-above energy plan and ensuring that public lands are
actually open to the public.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee

Representative Fred Upton of Michigan is the No. 2
Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee but is expected
to take the chairmanship because party rules would prevent
ranking member Joe Barton from another term as the top
committee Republican.

Upton — who worked in the Office of Management and Budget
under President Reagan and was elected to Congress in 1986 —
is expected to push for more nuclear power.

“Despite nuclear power’s tremendous potential, the nation
is lacking a coherent policy as we look toward the future.
Nuclear was largely ignored as the job-killing cap-and-tax
scheme made its way through the House last June,” Upton wrote
in an op-ed piece in The Hill newspaper in April.

“The world’s leading emitters understand the importance of
nuclear power in reducing emissions. It is well past time we do
the same or risk being left behind.”

Representative Joe Barton of Texas, although term-limited
by Republican leadership rules, has said publicly that he wants
the Energy and Commerce chairmanship and will seek a waiver
from the party. Barton has tussled with Republican leadership
in the past, challenging John Boehner for the minority leader
job in 2006 and drawing fire for apologizing to BP Plc (BP.L: )
after the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Barton has pushed for more offshore drilling and criticized
the cap-and-trade legislation the House passed last summer.

“There will be no cap and trade bill … it’s not just
endangered, it’s extinct,” he recently told NPR.

House Ways and Means Committee

Representative Dave Camp is expected to take over the
powerful Ways and Means Committee, which controls taxes. Camp,
whose Michigan district is home to wind and solar
manufacturers, has co-sponsored legislation to invest in
renewable energy research and create incentives for renewable
development.

He also has come out as a strong supporter of ethanol
biofuels, introducing tax credits for automakers to conduct
research, growers who put acreage into ethanol and consumers
who buy more expensive alternative-fueled cars.

“It is imperative that policies are in place to encourage
the research and development of new, cellulosic fuels that use
crop and animal waste and greater use of solar, wind, clean
coal and other new energy technologies,” Camp said on his
website.

However, Camp has been critical of proposals to use tax
increases on more traditional energy sources like oil and
natural gas to spur renewable energy growth.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Republican Darrell Issa, who will likely head the Oversight
and Government Reform Committee, is expected to intensify
investigations of the Interior Department’s oversight of the
oil and gas industry, especially relating to the BP oil spill.
He threatened to seek a subpoena earlier this year to force
Interior to comply with a committee probe.

“Taxpayers, especially in the Gulf region, have a right to
know what happened on a federal level that could have prevented
or minimized the destruction,” Issa said in July.

Issa may also investigate government climate change
scientists, who came under fire last year over leaked emails
that global warming skeptics said showed leading researchers
tried to silence dissenters and manipulate climate science.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has served as ranking
Republican on the committee, but a ballot showdown will
determine whether Murkowski — who lost the Republican primary
in Alaska but ran a strong write-in campaign for re-election —
will return to Washington.

Write-in votes represented 41 percent of the vote on
Wednesday, and Republican nominee Joe Miller had 34 percent.

Murkowski worked closely with committee Chairman Jeff
Bingaman on a comprehensive energy bill last year, although she
opposed Democrats’ proposals to address climate change. If
Murkowski doesn’t return to the Senate, North Carolina’s
Richard Burr would likely become ranking member.

Burr voted against the energy bill Murkowski supported,
which passed the committee with three other Republican votes.
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Ayesha Rascoe; editing by
Walter Bagley and Jim Marshall)

FACTBOX-Views of Republicans to lead key energy committees