Energy Committee Musical Chairs
If you haven’t been following the latest speculation about the potential musical chairs on various energy committees in Congress as a result of the midterms, allow me to update you.
If Republicans take over the House, it seems likely that Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) will get the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Though Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the committee’s ranking Republican, has expressed interest in the position, Republicans appear unlikely to grant him the necessary waiver to take over the panel because of his reputation as a BP apologist.
On top of that, Politico reports today that Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) may take over as the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s telecommunications subcommittee next Congress, leaving his leadership spot on the environment subcommittee, because he knows it will be difficult to pass significant climate legislation.
Republicans have also said that they would like to get rid of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which Markey currently chairs, if they take over Congress.
On the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, it looks like Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will stay on as ranking Republican if she wins her re-election bid. Republicans debated taking away her ranking position a while back, but decided not to. Of course, that decision could change after the elections. Murkowski has been campaigning in part on her seniority on the committee.