Oil industry welcomes Landrieu to Senate energy chair

Feb. 13, 2014 at 7:33 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The American Petroleum Institute said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., will ensure U.S. energy security through "smart policies" as Senate energy committee chair.

Landrieu took the gavel Wednesday from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to become chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee. An advocate for the oil industry, API President Jack Gerard said he looks forward to working with the Louisiana senator.

"We look forward to working with Sen. Landrieu on smart policies that will strengthen American energy security and harness the full economic potential of domestic oil and natural gas production," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Landrieu said in a statement Wednesday she would help stimulate the U.S. "energy revolution" by encouraging an increase in domestic energy production and expanding infrastructure with the Keystone XL oil pipeline planned from Canada.

Critics of the energy industry cried foul over her appointment. Last week, NextGen Climate, an advocate for a low-carbon economy, said Landrieu should check her facts on Keystone XL, describing the pipeline as a "sucker's deal." Oil Change International said her appointment was a "buypartisan" arrangement given the level of campaign contributions she gets from the oil industry.

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