Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King announced Friday that he has been chosen to serve on a committee that oversees national energy policy and electricity markets.

According to a press statement, a Democratic selection panel assigned King to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for the 114th Congress. King, who caucuses with Democrats, said in a prepared statement that he worked with Democratic leadership to secure the appointment.

Energy costs and natural gas capacity have been a focal point of state energy policy. King said that the committee assignment would give Maine a voice in federal energy policy.

“High energy costs, particularly in states like Maine, continue to eat away at people’s budgets and often unfairly force them to make the impossible choice between heating their homes, putting food on the table, or paying for medications and other basic necessities,” King said in a statement. “Serving on this committee will give me the opportunity to fight for Maine’s energy future, work hard to protect its beautiful and abundant natural resources, and encourage a cleaner, more deliberate national energy policy.”

In addition to its oversight role, the committee also vets bills that affect national energy policy, electricity markets, pipeline infrastructure, in addition to national parks and other federal lands.

King’s appointment must be ratified by the full Democratic caucus and Senate when the next Congress convenes in January. If confirmed, he will serve on five committees in addition to energy – the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Budget Committee and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

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