Waxman Challenges Dingell for Leadership of Influental House Committee

November 5, 2008 | Jesse Jenkins,

Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) plans to challenge venerable
Representative John Dingell (D-MI) for chairmanship of the influential
House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to a report from Roll Call.



"The move marks a major showdown between two Democratic
powerhouses, with implications for a host of major legislation next
year from health care to global warming to renewable energy. Waxman
currently chairs the Oversight and Government Reform panel."


The House Energy and Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over a wide
range of critical issues, including energy policy, health care,
interstate commerce issues and most likely global warming policy as
well. The committee will no doubt be a critical player in the
legislative implementation of President-elect Obama's policy agenda.

Waxman
and Dingell have taken two dramatically different stances on global
warming and energy during the 110th Congress and a change in
chairmanship could reshape the Congressional political landscape on
these issues.



Reflecting their differing constituencies, Dingell opposed California's (and 15 other states') efforts to set tailpipe emissions standards for greenhouse gases while Waxman led hearings to press EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on why the agency had blocked California's efforts.

The
difference is just as clear when it comes to federal climate policy. 
In March 2007, Waxman introduced the Safe Climate Act, still the most
aggressive proposal for global warming pollution caps in the Congress.
In contrast, Dingell and his committee waited until the final hours of
the 110th Congress to release a draft outline for economy-wide
greenhouse gas regulations.



Roll Call reports that a number of other key House leadership races were also underway, less than 24 hours after the polls closed.


UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is planning to discuss
with Joe Lieberman (I-CT) later this week whether or not to strip the
Democrat-turned-Independent-turned-McCain booster of his committee
chairmanships. Lieberman currently chairs the Senate Homeland Security
and Government Affairs Committee and the Environment and Public Works
subcommittee with jurisdiction over global warming regulations.


Comments

When the largest environmental groups are controlled by Chlorox bleachmen and PG&E, what chance? The environmental focus needs to be on environmental sustainability policy, regardless of who is chosen.

See the discussion at www.onebiosphere.com If the environmental "activists" are controlled by big business, where is the hope?

By Charles Warren on 2008 11 10