House Dems formalize climate committee plans without Green New Deal language

House Democrats have formally proposed creating a new committee on climate change, without many of the main factors that progressives wanted in the panel’s structure.

Democratic leaders unveiled the plans for the “Select Committee on the Climate Crisis” late Tuesday as part of a package of rules to govern House proceedings for the next two years.

The proposed rules, which the House will vote to adopt Thursday when Democrats formally take the chamber’s majority, say the select committee is instructed “to investigate, study, make findings, and develop recommendations on policies, strategies, and innovations to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution and other activities that contribute to the climate crisis which will honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”

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As has been reported in recent weeks, the panel will not have many of the features that Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSteve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push Fix the climate with smaller families Dem Sen. Markey faces potential primary challenge in Massachusetts MORE (D-N.Y.), dozens of other Democrats and hundreds of activists have asked for to lead to a “Green New Deal.”

The panel will not have the power to subpoena or depose, nor will it have the authority to vote on legislation and send it directly to the House floor for a vote.

It also is not being explicitly charged with developing Green New Deal legislation, which supporters envision as bringing the county to 100 percent renewable electricity and decarbonizing major industries over 10 years, as well as a universal jobs guarantee and other ideas.

Nonetheless, Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorHouse climate panel will study drilling ban backed by 2020 Dems Overnight Energy — Presented by Job Creators Network — Ocasio-Cortez knocks O'Rourke's climate plan | Dems in disarray over Paris climate bill | Climate change top issue for Dem voters in poll Dems lack unified plan for pushing Paris climate bill MORE (D-Fla.), who likely Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) designated chairwoman of the select committee, said the Green New Deal will inspire the panel’s work.

“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 told The Hill last month. “This will be a committee clearly in the spirit of the Green New Deal."

The climate committee also will not prohibit from its rolls lawmakers who have accepted campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry, another request from Green New Deal supporters.

Progressives have lauded Pelosi and other leaders for the panel, but expressed disappointment that it wouldn’t be as strong as they had hoped.

“This committee, if it turns out that the rumors about it are true, sounds about as useful as a screen door on a submarine,” Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, told The Hill last week. “As it’s portrayed it’s going to be completely incapable of solving the greatest threat to human kind.”

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Monday and accused leaders of rejecting her climate agenda as “too controversial.”

The climate committee will have 15 members under the rules unveiled Tuesday, nine Democrats and six Republicans.