Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso announced his intent to become lead Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for the 117th Congress next year, setting himself up for a potential leadership role if Republicans maintain control of the U.S. Senate this winter.

Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, currently chairs the committee.

If Barrasso — a rank-and-file member of that committee — ultimately rises to a leadership position on the committee, it will give Wyoming an outsize voice in national policy decisions governing some of the state’s most critical natural resources amid a sustained downturn for resources like natural gas and coal — a fact he addressed in a statement announcing the decision.

“My state is home to some of the greatest natural resource wonders in the

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