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  • Could Waxman and Markey have used the EPA threat more effectively?

    Should Waxman and Markey have kicked off House climate-bill negotiations with a stronger ask? The bill they introduced was effectively the U.S. Climate Action Partnership proposal, which already reflected years of negotiation and compromise. The idea was that the difficult work of negotiations had already been done — enviros and business both on board! — […]

  • Newt’s ASWF Attacks: “Why Did Rick Boucher Vote To Kill Virginia Jobs?”

    Cross-posted from Wonk Room. “Why did Rick Boucher vote to kill Virginia jobs?” Newt Gingrich’s coal-powered front group, American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF), asked this incendiary question of the coal-district Democrat in a full-page advertisement in the Roanoke Times. The ad, acquired by the Wonk Room, claims Boucher voted “for new energy taxes […]

  • Defending coal in climate legislation

    We saw how years of accumulated habit, chummy political relationships, and a regulatory model that all-but mandates big central power plants have left coal utilities betting their futures almost entirely on “clean coal.” They’ve told their legislators that it’s the only way to go low-carbon in the South and Midwest. Their legislators, who have long […]

  • Climate protesters arrested at sit-in outside Rick Boucher’s office

    Capitol Police arrested 15 protesters outside the office of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) on Thursday as the debate over the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill continued. The protesters, from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, held a sit-in outside Boucher’s office to protest his role in getting more support into the bill for coal. Boucher, who […]

  • Southern Company, coal plants, and the latest gizmo

    Who is behind the push for “clean coal”? Seems like it ought to be simple, but it’s not. Take a look at this list of members of the “clean coal” front group ACCCE. There are effectively three lobbies: producers, utilities, and legislators. Producers’ interest in “clean coal” is obvious: they want to sell more coal. […]

  • Waxman’s big get: VA Rep. Boucher

    “Key Dem backs Waxman climate bill” is how Politico reported this afternoon’s big breaking news.  Boucher is … a coal-country Democrat whose support signals the backing of industrial state Democrats in the south and Midwest. “I intend to vote yes and I intend to encourage all other members of the committee to do the same,” […]

  • With Markey in place, the House is geared for ambition on climate and energy

    As Kate reported earlier today, new House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is reorganizing the committee, unifying oversight of climate, energy, air quality, and water issues under a single subcommittee: the Energy and Environment Subcommittee.

    The Boston Globe just broke the news that Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will chair the new subcommittee.

    This is a big deal, even if you don't particularly care about inside Congressional baseball.

    Right now Markey chairs the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and reportedly enjoys working on telecom policy. Due to his seniority, he had his choice of subcommittees this session -- which meant he could, if he wanted, take the reins of the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee from coal lover and Dingell ally Rick Boucher (D-Va.). That alone would have been, as Joe noted the other day, "almost as big a deal as Waxman defeating Dingell for committee chair."

    But now Waxman has consolidated environment and energy jurisdiction in one subcommittee. Gone is the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, chaired by Gene Green [D-Texas], another Dingell ally.

    Apparently that sweetened the pot enough to make it irresistible to Markey.

    Markey will remain chair of the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming. Joe said the other day that he "can't see the point in keeping the Select committee if Markey switches positions," but I think that misses something important.