House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., has tapped a top natural gas lobbyist to be the committee’s senior aide on energy and environment issues.
Tom Hassenboehler, vice president of policy development and legislative affairs at America’s Natural Gas Alliance will be chief counsel for the Energy and Power Subcommittee, which has primary jurisdiction over controversial issues like environmental regulations.
Upton is expected to make the announcement later Thursday.
Hassenboehler has been leading ANGA’s legislative lobbying efforts since he joined the trade group in January 2011. Before that, he spent a decade on Capitol Hill, which included stints as counsel for Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., on the Environment and Public Works Committee and also the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Hassenboehler takes the position previously held by Maryam Brown, who House Speaker John Boehner hired last month to be his top energy aide.
“Maryam has been an invaluable member of our team and although we’re sad she is leaving to work for the Speaker’s office, she will continue to be a vital resource for our committee in her new capacity and I am excited for her to begin her new position,” Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., said in a statement Thursday to the Alley.
“As her replacement, we welcome Tom back to the halls of Congress. We are thrilled he will be joining the committee and bringing with him a wealth of institutional and energy policy knowledge.”
The changes in the top brass of energy aides are not confined to the GOP. Chris Miller, the top energy and environment aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced in an e-mail to colleagues earlier this week that he is leaving Capitol Hill. Miller has worked for several top Democrats throughout his more than 20 years on Capitol Hill. It’s not clear yet where Miller is headed next or who Reid will tap to replace him.
Meanwhile, Neil Chatterjee, the top energy aide to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is up for reelection in 2014, is not going anywhere. “I’m committed to seeing Senator McConnell get reelected in Kentucky and as Majority Leader in the Senate,” Chatterjee told the Alley.