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Regulation: Shift in Control of House of Representatives Could Impact Climate Crisis Committee
November 22, 2022
Regulation
Profile photo of contributor Sara Bussiere
Special Counsel | Global Litigation
Profile photo of contributor Timbre Shriver
Associate | Global Litigation

With Republicans assuming control of the House of Representatives in January, the fate of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis appears uncertain at best.  Garret Graves (R-LA), the Ranking Member on the panel, recently stated that “The climate crisis committee will not exist” with a spokesperson for Graves stating that “We don’t see a scenario where the ‘Climate Crisis Committee,’ a creature of Pelosi, will continue to exist” and that “Garret is committed to delivering on the energy components of the Commitment to America and will be intimately involved in making sure that happens.”

The Commitment to America, as mentioned by Graves, is a Republican policy document that advocates “policies that make it easier for the U.S. to mine its strategic minerals; policies that speed up the licensing process and construction of renewable hydropower projects; and policies that increase the U.S.’s production of oil and natural gas.”  The Committee on Climate Crisis was established by the Democrat majority in 2019.

The current chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Kathy Castor (D-FL), responded in a statement that “House Republicans ignore the climate crisis to the detriment of America. It’s baffling that the GOP has no plan to address the rising costs and escalating impacts of climate change. Their inaction and lockstep alliance with polluters are exacting a toll on everyday Americans, farmers, and communities alike - making it harder to afford basics like water, electricity and energy.”

Taking the Temperature: We have previously discussed the increasing politicization of climate change, a development that is taking place in a variety of contexts, notably in the area of asset management.  Whatever the merits of any party’s positions, it seems likely that the outcome will be the difficulty (if not the impossibility) of passing federal climate-related legislation.  Of course, given that Congress this term enacted the Inflation Reduction Act, which is estimated to have approximately $369 billion in climate-related measures, it was always unclear whether there would be congressional appetite for additional legislation.  We expect President Biden and federal agencies to continue to attempt to move forward via executive order and agency rulemaking, although we also anticipate legal challenges to such efforts, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s perceived concerns about agency overreach following its decision in West Virginia v. EPA, 597 U.S. __ (2022).   

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