Van Hollen: No decision yet on keeping climate panel

It is unlikely Republicans will keep the climate committee should they win control of the House this fall.

Van Hollen praised the climate panel that Pelosi created in 2007, chaired by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.). “I think that committee has done terrific work and I think it serves a very useful purpose,” Van Hollen said. “Whether Ed Markey and the Speaker think it is important to keep it going is something I am sure they will talk about.”

“Those kinds of decisions come after the election,” he added, noting the current focus is maintaining the Democrats’ majority.

A growing number of political analysts believe Republicans are likely to reclaim control of the chamber in November’s elections.

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. 

Markey and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) co-authored the sweeping cap-and-trade plan that narrowly passed the House in 2009 before collapsing in the Senate this year.