Jurisdiction over energy and environmental issues — including global warming legislation — in a key House committee will be moving from two Democrats sympathetic to industrial polluters to a progressive environmentalist. According to the Boston Globe, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) will become chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Markey’s new subcommittee will replace the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), a coal-country representative, and the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), an oil-patch Democrat.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), like Markey a strong proponent of progressive action to combat climate change, is in the process of reorganizing the energy and commerce committee after wresting control from Rep. John Dingell (D-MI):
As chair of the energy and environment subcommittee, Markey will have jurisdiction over greenhouse gas emissions legislation, such as the iCAP bill he proposed last year. He will also oversee the Clean Air Act, fossil energy, nuclear energy, drinking water and Superfund cleanups. Markey will remain chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which has no power over legislation.
Boucher will take Markey’s former seat as chair of the subcommittee in charge of telecommunications and the Internet. Boucher, like Markey, is a champion of network neutrality and patent reform.