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Pelosi names Dems to new climate panel — but not AOC

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBrown says Biden's first moves as president should be COVID relief, voting rights Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Pelosi dismisses talk of White House compromise on stimulus: They 'keep moving the goal post' MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday named eight Democrats to the new special climate change committee, but freshman lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSunday shows - Spotlight shifts to positive tests among Pence aides Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds 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:  House passes sweeping clean energy bill | Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  | Corporations roll out climate goals amid growing pressure to deliver Pelosi, Blumenaur condemn 'egregious abuses of power' by Trump against Oregon protestors Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT MORE (Ore.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyHouse Democrats eyeing much broader Phase 3 stimulus Assistant House Speaker self-quarantines out of 'abundance of caution' Actor Orlando Bloom to self-quarantine MORE (Calif.), Sean CastenSean CastenChamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch The Hill's Campaign Report: Buzz builds around Warren for VP Gun control group rolls out House endorsements MORE (Ill.), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  House passes sweeping clean energy bill | Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  | Corporations roll out climate goals amid growing pressure to deliver MORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035 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 MarkeyOcasio-Cortez says having Green New Deal would have helped handle COVID-19 pandemic OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes 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 Democrats urge Amazon to investigate, recall 'defective' products Asbestos ban stalls in Congress amid partisan fight Pharma execs say FDA will not lower standards for coronavirus vaccine MORE (N.J.), objected to a powerful select committee. 

Pelosi previously named Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  House passes sweeping clean energy bill | Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  | Corporations roll out climate goals amid growing pressure to deliver OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium Trump courts Florida voters with moratorium on offshore drilling 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 McCarthyRocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire Trump is out of touch with Republican voters on climate change The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Iran, Russia election bombshell; final Prez debate tonight 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.