Karen Billups, Patrick McCormick and Robert Dillon. National Journal

Robert Dillon

Minority Communications Director

Dillon grew up in Indiana and Alaska and describes himself as an "ink-under-the-fingernails" journalist. He spent much of his career covering energy, climate change, and regulatory policy for a variety of media outlets, including the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

He sees his job on the committee as the other side of the same coin.

Dillon's primary responsibility, as he puts it, is the same as when he worked in journalism — to get information to the public in a timely fashion. His work involves reacting to administration policy and the actions of Senate Democrats, as well as circulating press releases and policy papers to further the debate on energy issues and advance the position of Republican committee members.

What's a typical day? For Dillon, 45, there's no such thing. "The only thing typical," he says, "is that whatever I come in with on my list of things to do, those aren't the things I end up working on that day."


Patrick McCormick

Minority Chief Counsel

Between private-sector and federal-agency experience, McCormick has worked on energy policy from many angles. But his work as minority chief counsel has given him a unique vantage point and a broad view of the landscape.

"It's fascinating to look at the bigger picture," he says. "Our work in the committee is to constantly ask: Does the United States have an energy system that can act in the public interest?"

McCormick has lived in Baltimore for more than 30 years and previously led the regulated-markets and energy-infrastructure practice at law firm Hunton & Williams in Washington. Before his almost 20 years in private practice, he was deputy assistant general counsel for electric rates and corporate regulation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Philadelphia native weighs in on legislation that passes through the committee and makes sure bills are primed to do what their sponsors intend. He also advises Republican committee members on oversight activities. McCormick, 57, says he doesn't mind getting into the weeds on energy and regulatory policy — in fact, he enjoys it.


Karen Billups

Minority Staff Director

For Billups, energy has been a fitting career focus. When she was growing up in Texas, she says, energy was everywhere. She was educated against a backdrop of oil wells and derricks — her high school's parking lot even had an oil well in the middle — and she studied energy policy at the University of Texas Law School.

After rising through the ranks of the committee staff during two tours of duty, Billups, 51, was named staff director at the beginning of last year. Earlier, she was the panel's counsel for energy issues, senior counsel, and chief counsel. Billups also worked as director of federal affairs and Washington counsel for Entergy.

The most challenging part of her job is that committee staffers come to her when they have a problem they can't solve. "My days are full of questions that nobody else knows how to answer," she says. "I can't say I always know the answer either, but I think I best serve as a sounding board."

She added, "I love the variety and the challenge and getting to interact with people all day."

Robert Dillon

Minority Communications Director

Dillon grew up in Indiana and Alaska and describes himself as an "ink-under-the-fingernails" journalist. He spent much of his career covering energy, climate change, and regulatory policy for a variety of media outlets, including the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

He sees his job on the committee as the other side of the same coin.

Dillon's primary responsibility, as he puts it, is the same as when he worked in journalism — to get information to the public in a timely fashion. His work involves reacting to administration policy and the actions of Senate Democrats, as well as circulating press releases and policy papers to further the debate on energy issues and advance the position of Republican committee members.

What's a typical day? For Dillon, 45, there's no such thing. "The only thing typical," he says, "is that whatever I come in with on my list of things to do, those aren't the things I end up working on that day."


Patrick McCormick

Minority Chief Counsel

Between private-sector and federal-agency experience, McCormick has worked on energy policy from many angles. But his work as minority chief counsel has given him a unique vantage point and a broad view of the landscape.

"It's fascinating to look at the bigger picture," he says. "Our work in the committee is to constantly ask: Does the United States have an energy system that can act in the public interest?"

McCormick has lived in Baltimore for more than 30 years and previously led the regulated-markets and energy-infrastructure practice at law firm Hunton & Williams in Washington. Before his almost 20 years in private practice, he was deputy assistant general counsel for electric rates and corporate regulation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Philadelphia native weighs in on legislation that passes through the committee and makes sure bills are primed to do what their sponsors intend. He also advises Republican committee members on oversight activities. McCormick, 57, says he doesn't mind getting into the weeds on energy and regulatory policy — in fact, he enjoys it.


Karen Billups

Minority Staff Director

For Billups, energy has been a fitting career focus. When she was growing up in Texas, she says, energy was everywhere. She was educated against a backdrop of oil wells and derricks — her high school's parking lot even had an oil well in the middle — and she studied energy policy at the University of Texas Law School.

After rising through the ranks of the committee staff during two tours of duty, Billups, 51, was named staff director at the beginning of last year. Earlier, she was the panel's counsel for energy issues, senior counsel, and chief counsel. Billups also worked as director of federal affairs and Washington counsel for Entergy.

The most challenging part of her job is that committee staffers come to her when they have a problem they can't solve. "My days are full of questions that nobody else knows how to answer," she says. "I can't say I always know the answer either, but I think I best serve as a sounding board."

She added, "I love the variety and the challenge and getting to interact with people all day."

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