By Zack Colman - 12/27/12 02:39 PM EST
Schatz will serve with incoming Sen. Rep. Mazie HironoMazie HironoCarter pledges probe of sex assault testimony GOP blocks slate of Obama judicial nominees Sanders takes Hawaii MORE (D-Hawaii), who is replacing retiring Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii).
Hirono and Schatz likely will both champion climate change.
Hirono was named to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources earlier this month, and touted clean energy on the campaign trail. Green groups have praised Hirono’s positions on energy and climate change.
While Hirono and Schatz might be more in the traditional environmental mold, the group of Democratic senators who are more centrist on energy issues also is growing.
Sens.-elect Heidi HeitkampHeidi Heitkamp oil is changing the world and Washington GOP blocks Obama sanctions czar Overnight Finance: Obama huddles with Yellen; Puerto Rico bill markup Wednesday MORE (D-N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment GOP blocks Obama sanctions czar Indiana GOP divided over Senate primary MORE (D-Ind.) will likely orbit Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Coal Country’s top lawyer takes on Obama’s EPA Dem senator: There are ‘deniers’ on both sides of climate change debate MORE (D-W.Va.), Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (D-La.) and Mark BegichMark BegichEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium Dem ex-lawmakers defend Schumer on Iran MORE (D-Alaska) on energy issues.
Heitkamp will come to the Senate with North Dakota’s recent oil-and-gas boom in mind, likely aligning with oil-patch senators Begich and Landrieu on a host of issues. And the more conservative Donnelly might agree with Manchin’s hands-off approach to regulating greenhouse gas emissions.