Coons leaves Energy Committee for Appropriations slot

Source: John McArdle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is leaving the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after securing a spot on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

The Appropriations panel slot opened up due to the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) earlier this month.

“The Appropriations Committee offers a unique opportunity to make a difference for Delawareans on an extraordinary range of issues, and to ensure that the federal government is making the wisest, most efficient investments in our future,” Coons said in a statement this afternoon.

While he’s stepping down from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Coons will continue to serve on the Judiciary, Foreign Relations and Budget committees and will keep his chairmanships of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.

“Supporting the next generation of energy innovation has been a passion and a policy priority for me, and I intend to continue working hard on the bipartisan energy bills I’ve introduced and for which I’ve advocated,” Coons said. “The Appropriations Committee will allow me to continue to work to advance clean-energy technologies and support the all-of-the-above energy strategy we need to lower Delawareans’ energy costs and help our country stay competitive.”

A spokeswoman for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee said this afternoon that the panel was still working to determine how to fill the vacancy Coons’ departure creates. Lautenberg’s death has also left a vacancy on the Environment and Public Works Committee (E&E Daily, June 20). With House Natural Resources ranking member Ed Markey (D-Mass.) favored to win a special Senate election next week, the ENR or EPW slots could wind up being filled by Markey.