The special committee set up by Democrats in 2007 to study energy and climate issues will disappear in the next Congress, its top Republican said Wednesday.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said that Wednesday morning's hearing by the panel would be the last.
Sensenbrenner confirmed that Republicans will let the committee, which was established by House Democrats after they retook the majority in 2007, would fold up shop as had been rumored.
"This hearing will be the last of the select committee," he said at the hearing. "And while I was initially skeptical of the select committee's mission, it ultimately provided a forum for bipartisan debate, and an opportunity for House Republicans to share a different view on the pressing energy and environment issues that we currently face."
The committee had served as a top perch for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), an ardent proponent of regulations to curb climate change.
Markey has used his committee gavel to bash opponents of climate legislation and rally support for steep emissions cuts. The panel has held more than 50 hearings, which have included attacks on oil and coal companies, robust defenses of climate science and the risks of global warming and promotion of “clean” energy as a major economic engine.
Sensenbrenner had initially hoped to keep the committee intact, if for no other reason than to use it as a platform to probe the Obama administration on energy and climate issues.
Ben Geman contributed to this post.