ByÂ Jim SnyderÂ -Bloomberg
Republicans will eliminate the House committee created by SpeakerÂ Nancy Pelosi to highlight the threat of climate change, RepresentativeÂ James Sensenbrenner, the top Republican on the panel, said today.
In one of her first acts as speaker in 2007, Pelosi, a California Democrat, created theÂ House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to draw attention to climate-change science and showcase how a cap on carbon dioxide neednâ€™t be a threat to economic growth.
Republicans, who won control of the House in the Nov. 2 election, have opposed legislative efforts to regulate carbon emissions as a tax on energy. When the panel convened today, Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, said that the hearing â€œwill be the last of the select committee.â€
Sensenbrenner had advocated extending the panel as a forum to scrutinize Obama administration actions. In an opinion column on Nov. 8 in the Washington newspaper Roll Call, he wrote that the committee was â€œmore qualified than any otherâ€ to challenge Obama environmental initiatives that he said may threaten the economy. He acknowledged that other Republicans thought the panel should be eliminated to save money.
â€œWe are going to get rid of waste and duplication in terms of how we run the Congress,â€ House Republican LeaderÂ John Boehner, who is slated to become speaker in January, told reporters today. â€œWe believe the Science Committee is more than capable of handling this issue and in the process save several million dollars.â€
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said itâ€™s â€œvery disappointingâ€ that House Republicans will shut the committee and wonâ€™t make energy independence and climate change a priority in the next Congress.
â€œDisbanding the select committee does not diminish the urgent need to act on these very critical issues,â€ Hammill said in an e-mailed statement.
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