CMD superman logo.jpg SourceWatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy,

depends on donations from people like you!

Click here to make a tax-deductable contribution.

House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search


Members of the
House Committee on Energy and Commerce,
111th Congress
Democrats: Republicans:


The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is a special committee announced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in December 2006 to replace the Energy and Commerce Committee's jurisdiction on the issue.

Record and controversies

Creation in early 2007 by Pelosi; turf battle with Dingell

Pelosi announced the creation of the committee to the House Democratic caucus on December 18, 2006 and had a press conference the same day. [1] Pelosi told the caucus she wanted the new committee to take on the issue of global warming – rather than other committees like the Energy and Commerce Committee – and wanted action on a bill by July 4, 2007. She was supported in her move by Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who said the new committee is "continuing to remind people this is a different Congress, with different priorities." Pelosi reportedly asked Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), a strong environmentalist who has been frequently critical of Bush, to lead the committee. Markey had been enlisted by Pelosi to deliver the Democratic response to Bush's radio address after he publicly asked Saudi Crown Prince Abduallah to increase oil production in April 2005. [2]

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, had previously stated that he expected global warming legislation to move through his committee and that he would take his time with the issue. Dingell's plan was to hold extensive hearings on global warming before taking action and had stated that it would be only one of many priorities for the committee. [3] Dingell and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-W.Va.) – chair of the energy and air quality subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee and representative of a district with a large coal industry – supported an approach of building consensus that took into account the concerns of greenhouse gas emitting industries. "Industry is an important part of the equation," Boucher has said. Before Pelosi's announcement, Dingell and Boucher had already planned to hold hearings on global warming, inviting former Vice President Al Gore to testify. [4]

After Pelosi's speech to the caucus, Dingell called a meeting with the Democrats on his committee in which he voiced his opposition to the move. Dingell was supported by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the new chairman of the Oversight and Government Committee and also a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. While Waxman is a strong proponent of dramatic global warming countermeasures, Waxman warned that Pelosi might be trying to write bills out of her own office rather than respecting the committee process, which was "the way the Republicans did it." Pelosi's move was also opposed Boucher, who proposed joining Republicans to quash the new committee on the floor of the House. [5]

Letter from Dingell and Waxman to Pelosi

After a three-week "turf war", Pelosi and Dingell reached an accord on February 6, 2007 on the parameters of the select committee. In a letter from Dingell and Waxman to Pelosi, they stipulated that the agreement was that the new committee would not draft any legislation, expire on Oct. 30, 2008 and have to consult Pelosi's office before any subpoenas were issued to "ensure the appropriate coordination of efforts." The letter also stipulated that the regular standing committees would have priority on witnesses when there was any conflict. [6] The actual writing of legislation was expected to be divided between several standing committees due to the wide-ranging implications of such a bill. [7] The text of the letter (at right) stated:

"The resolution creating the select committee will specify that as has been your intent, the select committee is not a committee with legislative authority and that its authority will expire October 30, 2008. In addition, we appreciate your assurances that to avoid duplication, legislative committees of jurisdiction should have the primary call on witnesses where there is a potential conflict and that your office will be consulted before the exercise of any compulsory powers by the select committee to ensure the appropriate coordination of efforts."

After Dingell and Pelosi had come to an agreement, Markey acknowledged that he would chair the new committee. [8] Despite the agreement between Pelosi and Dingell, which signified that House Democrats will avoid a controversial vote on the floor, Democrats still faced many “regional and ideological” disputes in their effort to draft a comprehensive energy bill. [9]

On March 8, 2007, the House approved H.Res.202, a measure that funded its committees through the end of the 110th Congress. The resolution formally created the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and gave it a budget of $3,725,467.

Main article: Continuing resolution of 2007#House passes additional measure to fund committees

The resolution also specified that:

The select committee shall not have legislative jurisdiction and shall have no authority to take legislative action on any bill or resolution. Its sole authority shall be to investigate, study, make findings, and develop recommendations on policies, strategies, technologies and other innovations, intended to reduce the dependence of the United States on foreign sources of energy and achieve substantial and permanent reductions in emissions and other activities that contribute to climate change and global warming. [10]

Thus actual legislation that tackled global warming will move through other committees, such as Dingell's House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Main article: U.S. congressional action on climate change


Membership

On March 9, 2007, Pelosi announced the membership of the committee (see above). [11]

Previous Membership

110th Congress (2007-2008)

Members of the
House Committee on Energy and Commerce,
110th Congress
Democrats: Republicans:


Articles and resources

Sources

  1. "Pelosi Announces the Creation of Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming," press release from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), December 18, 2007.
  2. Juliet Eilperin and Michael Grunwald, "Internal Rifts Cloud Democrats' Opportunity on Warming," Washington Post, Decemeber 23, 2007.
  3. Juliet Eilperin and Michael Grunwald, "Internal Rifts Cloud Democrats' Opportunity on Warming," Washington Post, Decemeber 23, 2007.
  4. Juliet Eilperin and Michael Grunwald, "Internal Rifts Cloud Democrats' Opportunity on Warming," Washington Post, Decemeber 23, 2007.
  5. Juliet Eilperin and Michael Grunwald, "Internal Rifts Cloud Democrats' Opportunity on Warming," Washington Post, Decemeber 23, 2007.
  6. Jonathan E. Kaplan, "Pelosi, Dingell reach deal," The Hill, February 6, 2007.
  7. John Heilprin, "Pelosi Seeks Global Warming Committee," Associated Press (Forbes), January 18, 2007.
  8. "Markey To Head Committee On Global Warming," WCVB-TV (Boston), February 26, 2007.
  9. Jonathan E. Kaplan, "Pelosi, Dingell reach deal," The Hill, February 6, 2007.
  10. Text of H.Res.202 (110th Congress)' Library of Congress.
  11. "Pelosi Announces Members of Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming," press release by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), March 9, 2007.

Related SourceWatch resources

Articles