Thursday, February 8, 2007

House Environment Committee: No Staff, No Justice

Evidently House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell intends to operate the subcommittees under the auspices of the full committee. This is not good. The subcommittees, particularly the Environment & Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Al Wynn (D-MD), need their own staffs and budgets. The full committee will be burdened with its own committee hearings and activities.

We should be concerned that environmental issues in general and environmental justice in particular will not receive adequate attention from Congress if the subcommitte that addresses these issues has no staff and no budget. After being out of power for over a decade, one would think there would be a hunger to thoroughly cover environmental concerns.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced the establishment of a Special Select Committee on Global Warming. The speaker will seek funding for this committee even though E & C Chairman John Dingell opposes the idea. Speaker Pelosi is also fighting with House Republicans over which jet she can use. Shouldn't the House adequately staff and fund the Environment and Hazardous Materials Committee before spending money on these other items?

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