UPDATE – The United States House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will be eliminated, it was announced today.
“We are going to get rid of waste and duplication in terms of how we run the Congress,” House Republican Leader John Boehner, who is slated to become speaker in January, told reporters today. “We believe the Science Committee is more than capable of handling this issue and in the process save several million dollars.”
As we suggested with this original post, the Select Committee serves no useful purpose. Its continued existence would be a waste of taxpayer money, and its dissolution is a testimony to more efficient governance under Speaker elect John Boehner. We applaud this action.
Original Post – In March of 2007, Nancy Pelosi’s House of Representatives created the United States House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to champion her eco-left agenda. Unable to sell it as a fully authorized House committee, it was created as an advisory panel without the authority to write legislation. Its funding would otherwise have gone to the House Ethics Committee. Though not empowered to write legislation, it endorsed the capstone legislation of its Chairman, Ed Markey (D-Left Coast), who co-authored the Cap and Trade bill, and others like it. As such legislation continued to fail the Committee became an advocacy group for the Democratic environmental agenda and its enforcement through the EPA by fiat. Most analysts believed the Committee should and would be dissolved as a result of the Extreme Makeover – House Edition of November 2. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), its ranking Republican member, has recommended otherwise.
So, should they stay or should they go?
At the cost of redundancy, it bears repeating that the Committee has no legislative authority. The Committee was created as an advocacy group for the liberal environmental agenda of the Democratic left, and the greatest purpose it serves is to provide its members with the opportunity to get their face on CSPAN at not a small price to taxpayers. It’s funding diminishes the funding available to the House Ethics Committee, thus one wonders how much sooner might the Rangel and Waters cases have come to light were that additional funding available. There are a sufficient number of energy and environmental committees in the House that can actually write legislation, thus one that cannot serves no meaningful purpose.
The Committee’s name charges it with providing guidance regarding energy independence and global warming. During its tenure to date, the United States has become less energy independent, and the science of global warming has lost credibility. The American people have expressed their sentiments by electing a House that espouses energy independence and bemoans anthropogenic global warming.
Let them govern. This committee serves no useful purpose and should be dissolved.
The Case for Continuance
Congressman Sensenbrenner puts forth a strong argument for continuing the duties of the Committee here, wherein he rightly suggests that there should be a balance between a strong industrial economy and responsible environmental regulation. He accurately suggests that the current administration, the EPA, and Nancy Pelosi’s House have not found that balance, citing as an example recent mandates regarding boiler emissions that will destroy thousands of jobs. With the failure of greenhouse gas emission reduction legislation, President Obama has endorsed forcing such reduction, against the expressed will of the electorate, through the EPA. An investigative advocacy group in Congress, recast to reflect the true will of the electorate, could offer strong oversight against such rampant, unauthorized, economically destructive mandates. The American people have expressed their sentiments by electing a House that espouses industrial growth with responsible environmental regulation.
Give them a voice. The Committee should continue to serve, now in a manner that reflects those sentiments.
The EPA, with the endorsement of President Obama, is out of control, and is creating policy that is detrimental to our already fragile economy. They have declared war on hydraulic fracturing, a proven technology for recovering natural gas from shale formations which are known to exist in abundance within our borders and that could contribute greatly to energy independence and a cleaner environment. They have condoned increasing levels of ethanol in gasoline that will result in reduced fuel efficiency and increased environmental damage, and only benefit the agricultural segment. It is, without a doubt, critical to the restoration of our economy and the might of our nation that they not be allowed to continue dragging us down these paths.
But is the United States House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming the appropriate vehicle for leading that charge? It cannot write opposing legislation, but can only investigate and make noise. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has declared that his committee will conduct investigations wherever they might seem appropriate, and that Committee can write legislation to address and correct its findings. What more does a handcuffed advocacy committee bring to the party?
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce provides oversight on issues regarding energy and the environment, and it can write legislation to promote the values of the people it represents. It will, in the upcoming Congress, represent the people who overwhelmingly turned the House back to conservative causes. Several members of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming also serve on Energy and Commerce. What more can that former committee contribute?
When first we read Congressman Sensenbrenner’s remarks, we were quick to agree with them. Again, Obama’s administration and Lisa Jackson’s EPA must be brought under control. But after further consideration, we feel that the United States House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is an expensive extravagance that will do nothing to further the conservative cause, and will simply allow Mr. Sensenbrenner to add “Committee Chair” to his Congressional resume.
In the interest of creating a smaller, more efficient and more cost effective federal government, the Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming should be dissolved.