A guide to the new Senate

What incoming Republican chairs might do for the West.

 

When Republicans take over the U.S. Senate next year, Democrats will be booted from their positions as committee chairs and replaced by ranking Republicans. The shift is a big deal: With roughly 3,000 bills referred to committees each session, chairs wield a lot of power in deciding which will live, which will die and which will resurface so marked up that they're virtually unrecognizable. Here’s who’s predicted to be calling the shots in 2015, and what their ascension might mean for the West.

Homepage photo: Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, expected to become chairman of the the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, speaks to reporters about her blueprint for U.S. energy policy, titled "Energy 20/20," at the Capitol last February. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite. Krista Langlois is an editorial fellow at High Country News. She tweets @KristaLanglois2.