Friday, January 9, 2009

The Green House?

The People's Green House, to be precise.

Interesting look at some subcommittee swapping going on in the House of Representatives. Apparently Ed Markey of Massachusetts (REPRESENT!) is now in charge of both the Energy and Environment Subcommittee and the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming.

The Energy and Environment Subcommittee has something the Select Committee does not:...legislative jurisdiction. It will be the key subcommittee pushing climate/energy legislation through the House.

Conversely, the Select Committee has something the Subcommittee doesn't: total freedom, an absence of jurisdictional restraints. The climate/energy issue is so big that Markey can hold hearings on national security, jobs, housing, refugees, trade, you name it. Those subjects are outside the E&E Subcommittee's legislative bailiwick but within the Select Committee's bully-pulpit bailiwick.

This gives Markey a one-two punch: he can craft and help pass climate/energy legislation through the Subcommittee while using the Select Committee to educate other committee chairs about how the issue affects their jurisdictions. I can't think of another committee chair who has the same kind of megaphone with which to drum up support for his own legislation, in the House and among the public.

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