Fla. Dem to lead cli­mate change panel

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - NATION & WORLD - By Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON — House Demo­cratic leader Nancy Pelosi has ap­pointed Florida Rep. Kathy Cas­tor to lead a spe­cial com­mit­tee on cli­mate change that will be re­in­stated in the new Congress.

Pelosi, the likely House speaker, said Cas­tor brings ex­pe­ri­ence, en­ergy and “ur­gency to the ex­is­ten­tial threat of the cli­mate cri­sis” fac­ing the United States and theworld.

Cas­tor is set to be­gin her sev­enth term rep­re­sent­ing the Tampa Bay area and serves on the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee.

“Con­gress­woman Cas­tor is a proven cham­pion for pub­lic health and green in­fra­struc­ture, who deeply un­der­stands the scope and se­ri­ous­ness of this threat,” Pelosi said.

Cas­tor said in a state­ment Fri­day that she was hon­ored to lead the panel and pledged to “act with ur­gency to re­duce car­bon pol­lu­tion” and “un­leash” Amer­i­can in­ge­nu­ity to cre­ate clean-en­ergy jobs.

“The costs of the chang­ing cli­mate and ex­treme weather events pose greater risks ev­ery day to Amer­i­can fam­i­lies, busi­nesses and our way of life,” Cas­tor said.

The cli­mate panel is sim­i­lar to one that Pelosi cre­ated when Democrats last con­trolled the House from 2007 to 2011. It was elim­i­nated by then-Speaker John Boehner when Repub­li­cans took the ma­jor­ity.

The mem­ber­ship and ex­act scope of the panel re- main to be de­ter­mined, but Pelosi said it will play a key role in shap­ing how Congress re­sponds to the threat of global warm­ing while cre­at­ing good- pay­ing, “green” jobs.

Mary­land Rep. Steny Hoyer, the in­com­ing House ma­jor­ity leader, said that the panel likely would not have le­gal au­thor­ity to de­mand doc­u­ments un­der sub­poena. But he added he doesn’t think the panel will need sub­poena au­thor­ity, since ex­perts will be “dy­ing to come be­fore them.”

CAROLYN KASTER/AP

Nancy Pelosi, cen­ter, says Kathy Cas­tor, far right, brings “ur­gency to the ex­is­ten­tial threat of the cli­mate cri­sis.”

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