Pelosi names Castor chair of Select Committee on Climate Crisis

House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiObjections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated Latest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' MORE (Calif.) officially named Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorPelosi, Schumer invite US women's soccer team to Capitol Democrats grill Trump officials over fuel standard rollback Steyer group targeting 12 congressional Democrats over impeachment MORE (D-Fla.) as chairwoman of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on Friday.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I appoint Congresswoman Kathy Castor as the Chair of our new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis," Pelosi said in a statement. "She will bring great experience, energy and urgency to the existential threat of the climate crisis. This committee will be critical to the entire Congress’s mission to respond to the urgency of this threat, while creating the good-paying, green jobs of the future."

“Congresswoman Castor is a proven champion for public health and green infrastructure, who deeply understands the scope and seriousness of this threat. Her decades of experience in this fight, both in Florida and in the Congress, where she has been an outstanding leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee and on the House Democratic Environmental Message Team, will be vital." 

Progressives have pushed back on House leadership's plans for the panel.

The panel will not be tasked specifically with formulating a Green New Deal, which includes a transition to 100 percent renewable electricity, and will not have subpoena power.

And, despite demands from Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and others, lawmakers who received donations from fossil fuel companies won’t be banned from serving on it.

Castor told The Hill earlier this month that progressives should not worry about her.

“There’s some fabulous proposals in the Green New Deal, and I’m excited about all that. You may see some similar language. Clearly, the focuses are going to be the same,” she said. “This will be a committee clearly in the spirit of the Green New Deal."

She said that while she will not take donations from fossil fuel companies, making that a rule was unnecessary.

“I’m hoping that folks will come to this committee ready to take on the corporate polluters and special interests. There shouldn’t be a purity test, that if a member of Congress has ever accepted contributions,” she said.

“My position is that the committee should have legislative authority and should have subpoena power,” she added. “But I think that has been negotiated with the standing committee chairs, and we’re going to work together.”