GOP taps gas lobbyist for energy job

House Republicans have tapped natural-gas lobbyist and Capitol Hill veteran Tom Hassenboehler for a senior staff role on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.

Hassenboehler will be chief counsel for the Energy and Power subcommittee.

He’s returning to Capitol Hill from his role as vice president of policy development and legislative affairs with America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a trade group for gas producers.

Hassenboehler previously worked on the committee staff from 2004 until 2008, and then served three years as counsel to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee before going to the gas trade group.

“Tom is a seasoned hill veteran, and he brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. He has the relationships on both sides of the Capitol and the legislative skills to advance important bills,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the full committee, said.

He has also worked for former Reps. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Bob Riley (R-Ala.), and holds undergraduate and law degrees from Louisiana State University.

Upton said Hassenboehler will be busy.

“We look forward to an aggressive energy agenda in the 113th Congress as we continue our pursuit of North American energy independence and work to keep energy stable and affordable for American families through oversight of existing policy and new solutions for the future,” Upton said.

The chief counsel slot opened up after former counsel Maryam Brown recently took a job as energy adviser to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“Although we are sad to lose Maryam in the operations of our committee, her move to the Speaker's office keeps important institutional and policy expertise here in the House,” Upton said.