Markey seeking ranking spot on Natural Resources Committee
Well, it’s official. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is seeking the ranking spot on the House Natural Resources Committee. If he gets it, he’ll leave his position as the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce energy and environment subcommittee.
But it turns out he’s not the only one seeking the position. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) also announced his interest in the position yesterday.
In a letter to House Democrats, Markey explained his decision. “I do so because I believe the twin issues of energy and the environment will be of paramount importance in the next Congress, and the Natural Resources Committee will be a critical forum in which the national debate over these issue will be played out,” he said.
Markey will likely have his work cut out for him. Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) is the leading contender to take over as chairman of the committee. In a statement released last week, Hastings said his priorities include increasing domestic energy production “through an all-of-the-above energy plan” and ensuring that the Obama administration is held “accountable” for its new offshore drilling policies.
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the current chairman of the committee, is seeking the ranking spot on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The current chairman, Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), lost his re-election bid.
In his letter, Markey also acknowledged that the fate of the other committee he chairs, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, is in question. Some Republicans have said they’ll abolish the committee, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) established in 2006.