This week, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) announced his intent to replace Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) as chair of the House Energy Commerce & Committee, which has jurisdiction over global warming legislation. On Thursday, Dingell told WJR Radio’s Frank Beckmann that Waxman is an “anti-manufacturing left-wing Democrat” with a “serious lack of understanding of people in the auto industry and manufacturing generally.”
Representatives of major greenhouse gas-emitting industries have also recoiled at the prospect of Waxman being in charge instead of Dingell.
R. Bruce Josten, the top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “took issue with the idea of a Waxman-led committee given the Californian’s support for far more aggressive greenhouse emission limits compared with Dingell,” telling E&E News, “It’s scary, isn’t it?”
The Chamber’s public comments reinforce the anonymous “refining industry insider” who told E&E News “all hell will break loose legislatively” if Waxman won.
The coal lobby has also weighed in on this dispute. Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, told Bloomberg News that Waxman likely would be “a very slow learner on the importance of coal for affordable energy. It would have been problematic in the best of times to have Mr. Waxman’s views prevail.”
Climate Progress’s Joe Romm responds, “If actually trying to prevent catastrophic global warming is ‘scary’ then all I can say is ‘Boo!‘”
UPDATE: Josten and Popovich are the top figures in the Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth, the front group formed in 2001 to promote the Cheney energy bill.