Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) of the Select Committee/Select Committee Flickr

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:

Pakistani ambassador: “I urge leaders to pay attention to what climate change means for people”

Climate scientists tell House committee: We know the risk, now it’s up to policymakers to act

At House hearing, prominent scientists reaffirm climate science’s broad knowledge, urgency to act

Markey presses coal CEOs on climate change denialism, future of the industry in a low carbon economy

Rep. Sensenbrenner projects “fascism” and “fraud” onto scientists, is rebutted at hearing

Holdren and Lubchenco warn Congress of climate disruption, call for emissions cuts and preparedness

Federal climate change adaptation strategy needed, say Rep. Markey, hearing witnesses, GAO report

House Select Committee to examine aviation’s impact on global warming

House global warming committee hearing on administration’s delayed decision on polar bear protection

Congressman Markey Queries Federal Aviation Administrator on Failure to Consider Climate Change

Congressional investigation into science editing of Smithsonian Arctic climate exhibit