Sen. Murkowski beefs up energy committee staff

Kate Williams will join the committee staff to handle oil-and-gas policy. She previously worked in the Senate as legislative director and chief counsel for the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

Williams, also an Alaskan, worked at the Anchorage law firm Birch, Horton, Bittner, Cherot after leaving the Senate in 2008 and most recently was with the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, an industry group.

Other hires include Lucy Murfitt, who currently handles energy and environment issues for Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). Kyl, who did not seek reelection, is retiring from the Senate.

She will work on public lands, forest, wilderness, and Bureau of Land Management matters, Murkowski’s office said. More from the announcement:

“Murfitt previously served as the director of policy and partnerships for the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University. She also served as an environmental attorney during her time in the U.S. Army.”

Also joining the committee: Ron Faibish, who will have a fellowship on the panel staff. He arrives from the Energy Department’s Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.

“Dr. Faibish was the program manager for the lab’s Nuclear Engineering Division, where he managed relations with China on nuclear issues, developed a research program on energy-water cogeneration, and led research projects on membrane science and technology for energy efficient separation processes,” Murkowski’s office said.