Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the start of the 110th Congress, is set to dissolve at the end of the month, reports The Hill.

The authority and the funding granted to the committee expires at the end of next week, and it’s not clear at this point whether it will be renewed for the 111th Congress. The Hill reports that “insiders say no decision will be made until after the election.”

If Pelosi did move to renew the committee, she’d probably face opposition from John Dingell (D-Mich.), chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who never wanted it to be created in the first place and hasn’t had fond things to say about what he sees as a challenge to his own committee’s authority.

But Pelosi wanted climate change to be at the top of the agenda in her first term as speaker, and she didn’t think Dingell, who is seen as a champion of the auto industry and who has been much less progressive on the issue than Pelosi would like, was the appropriate person to take up the mantel. So they brokered a deal that would allow the committee to hold hearings and issue reports, but not mark up or advance legislation, and the speaker tapped Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to head it.

Now, Markey, Dingell, and a handful of others are already jockeying for position on climate legislation for next year.

Key players in the Capitol are pretty mum about the fate of the Select Committee at this point.

“That’s a question that will be answered after Election Day,” Eben Burnham-Snyder, communications director for the committee, told The Hill. “We were created and serve at the pleasure of the speaker. I think people value the service we performed.”