Pelosi names Dems to new climate panel — but not AOC

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence says it's 'vital' for Congress to pass US-Mexico-Canada trade deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday named eight Democrats to the new special climate change committee, but freshman lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez endorses challenger to Democrat Lipinski in Illinois race The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? The Memo: Times correction gives GOP lifeline in latest Kavanaugh controversy MORE (N.Y.) was not among them.

The panel, which is charged with examining climate change and steps to mitigate it, will include lawmakers with a wide range of tenures. Three of those Democratic members will be freshmen, and Ocasio-Cortez said she turned down an offer from Pelosi to be on the committee.

“This new Select Committee will spearhead Democrats’ work to develop innovative, effective solutions to prevent and reverse the climate crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It will generate the energy and action required to permanently reduce pollution so that we can honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”
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The Democratic members are Reps. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciOvernight Energy: Democrats call for Ross to resign over report he threatened NOAA officials | Commerce denies report | Documents detail plan to decentralize BLM | Lawmakers demand answers on bee-killing pesticide Oregon Democrats push EPA to justify use of pesticide 'highly toxic' to bees House lawmakers introduce bill to help those struggling with student debt MORE (Ore.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyKatherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent California Democrats unveil redistricting reform bill after Supreme Court partisan gerrymandering ruling WHIP LIST: The 132 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry MORE (Calif.), Sean CastenSean CastenSwing-seat Democrats oppose impeachment, handing Pelosi leverage Ex-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm The House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort MORE (Ill.), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanOvernight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge House approves two bills to block Trump drilling MORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinRacial politics roil Democratic Party CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries Harris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support MORE (Va.) and Joseph Neguse (Colo.).

"It has never been more clear that climate change is the existential threat of our time, and one that is particularly pressing for my generation," Neguse, one of the freshmen on the panel, said in a statement Thursday. "We must take bold action on the climate crisis now in order to preserve this world — not only for my generation, but also for every generation to come, like that of my six-month-old daughter."

Ocasio-Cortez said at a press conference Thursday that Pelosi had invited her to sit on the panel.

"She did in fact invite me to be on the committee," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters. "So I don't think this is a snub. I don’t think it is anything like that."

Even before Democrats won the House majority in the November midterm elections, Pelosi made clear she wanted to resurrect the special climate committee that she established when Democrats previously controlled the chamber, 2007 to 2011. At that time, the panel was called the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by then-Rep. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Ocasio-Cortez endorses Markey in Senate race amid speculation over Kennedy candidacy House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge MORE (D-Mass.).

Pelosi disappointed many progressives, including Ocasio-Cortez, when she said the new panel would not have the power to advance legislation or issue subpoenas. Instead, it can only make recommendations to other committees.

That decision was made after veteran Democrats on other panels, like Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse panel investigating private equity firms' role in surprise medical billing Hotel industry mounts attack on Airbnb with House bill Push on 'surprise' medical bills hits new roadblocks MORE (N.J.), objected to a powerful select committee. 

Pelosi previously named Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorHouse approves two bills to block Trump drilling Pelosi, Schumer invite US women's soccer team to Capitol Democrats grill Trump officials over fuel standard rollback MORE (D-Fla.) to be chairwoman of the committee.

Republican members of the panel have not yet been named. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump touts Washington Post story on GOP support Pence extends olive branch to Cummings after Trump's Baltimore attacks Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis MORE (R-Calif.) is responsible for picking the five GOP lawmakers.

Politico first reported Pelosi's appointment of the Democratic members.

After Democrats won the House majority in November, Ocasio-Cortez emerged as an outspoken advocate for combating climate change and pushed for the forthcoming select committee to be focused on formulating a Green New Deal that would move the country toward 100 percent renewable electricity.

She and Markey, now a senator, introduced a nonbinding resolution Thursday to support a Green New Deal.

When asked why she declined the invitation to join the new climate panel, Ocasio-Cortez told reporters, “I serve on the Environmental Subcommittee on Oversight, four subcommittees."
 
"We're doing this," she added, referring to the Green New Deal.
 
Miranda Green contributed.
 
Updated at 2:07 p.m.