Sen. Heller will replace Sen. Burr on Energy Committee

Newly-minted Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) will take Sen. Richard Burr's (R-N.C.) seat on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Heller's office said Wednesday.

Burr was appointed to the influential Senate Finance Committee Wednesday to replace Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who resigned his Senate seat last week, leaving the vacant spot on the Energy committee.

Heller was appointed to Ensign's Senate seat in late April and was sworn in on Monday.

The departure from the Energy panel represents a turnaround for Burr.

Months ago he was believed to have the inside track to become ranking member of the energy committee when it appeared that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) -- who is currently the panel's top Republican -- had lost her reelection battle.

But Murkowski retained her Senate seat after an improbable write-in campaign and kept the top GOP post on the energy committee.

--Ben Geman contributed to this story.