Pallone renames energy panel to include ‘climate change’

Source: Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) has tweaked the name of one of his subcommittees to put a bigger emphasis on climate change.

The Subcommittee on Environment will become the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, Pallone announced yesterday, marking a shift in priorities.

The subcommittee’s jurisdiction will be unchanged. It will still have authority on Clean Air Act issues, Superfund sites, and chemical contamination and drinking water regulations.

But House Democrats are looking to make climate one of their top messaging issues in the new Congress amid pressure from progressive groups to aggressively target greenhouse gas emissions.

Pallone has faced blowback from those groups, who say he isn’t progressive enough on climate and is too cozy with industry.

They were especially critical after he said in a radio interview this week that banning members on his panel from taking fossil fuel campaign contributions “goes too far” (E&E Daily, Jan. 9).

“The Energy and Commerce Committee has a long and proud tradition of conducting the majority of its work in its subcommittees,” Pallone said in a statement. “I’m confident these six subcommittees will allow us to focus on our priorities of strengthening the economy, reducing costs for consumers, combating climate change and conducting vigorous oversight.”

The previous Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection also has a new name. It will now be the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.

House leadership announced last night that eight new members will join Pallone’s panel, one of the top committees in the House, with jurisdiction that ranges from health care to energy (E&E Daily, Jan. 10).