During a House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing today on energy security and climate change, ranking member Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) announced that it would be the final hearing for the committee. Created in 2007 by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the committee is now being disbanded by incoming Republican leadership. As a select committee, the body did not consider legislation, but under Chairman Ed Markey's (D-MA) leadership it did develop a very substantial congressional hearing record on the climate change problem.
Chairman Markey is also a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the passage of the cap and trade bill he co-sponsored with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) represents a legislative high water mark on climate policy. While it's a shame that the House is not retaining this kind of committee with the ability to develop the climate issue on the record, if the alternative would be a bully pulpit for Rep. Sensenbrenner's vendetta against the climate science community and the EPA, perhaps we are better off. Although Rep. Sensenbrenner today praised Chairman Markey for his bipartisan leadership, in the past he has accused climate scientists of fascism and fraud and has relentlessly held up the 'Climategate' emails as reason for inaction on the climate problem.
Earlier posts on the committee: