Monday, November 24, 2008

Waxman v. Dingell Aftermath

The replacement of Chairman Dingle with Congressman Waxman (D, Cal) at the head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee puts a certain amount of uncertainty in the minds of other members of that committee. In particular many of the sub-committee chairs that were allied with the Chairman are beginning to wonder if they will retain their positions. One such chair is Mr. Gene Green (D, Tx) who chairs the subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials. Congressman Green has been proactive in his attempt to retain his chairmanship which he received just this year. He took over when Chairman Wynn resigned to become a lobbyist. Green has been talking with Chairman Waxman, Speaker Pelosi and all of the Democratic members of the committee about his continued chairmanship. According to reports he has been telling people that he has an aggressive agenda that he wants to pursue in the 111th Congress. One of the items on his agenda is to ‘strengthen security for chemical plants’. His subcommittee did hold one hearing in the last session on the chemical facility security. That hearing, on June 12th, was supposed to look at HR 5533 and HR 5577, the two competing bills to extend the authorization of the current CFATS regulations (see: “House Subcommittee Hearing on HR 5533 and HR 5577”). It will be interesting to see how aggressive he is on chemical facility security, especially since there are a number of large chemical facilities in his district.

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