Pelosi names Dems to new climate panel — but not AOC

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell Texas AFL-CIO endorses Cuellar's primary challenger MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday named eight Democrats to the new special climate change committee, but freshman lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint 'The worst news': Political world mourns loss of Kobe Bryant Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements 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 BonamiciPelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention Scientists join Democrats in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule Overnight 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 MORE (Ore.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyPelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention A dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent MORE (Calif.), Sean CastenSean CastenHouse votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap Pelosi warns of 'existential' climate threat, vows bold action Pelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention MORE (Ill.), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanDemocrats reach cusp of impeachment Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Pelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention MORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinVirginia governor seeking to remove Robert E. Lee statue from US Capitol Five environmental fights to watch in 2020 Virginia lawmakers ask governor to remove state's Robert E. Lee statue from US Capitol 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 MarkeySenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill Twitter tells facial-recognition app maker to stop collecting its data 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 PalloneOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Obstacles remain for deal on surprise medical bills This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch MORE (N.J.), objected to a powerful select committee. 

Pelosi previously named Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Pelosi warns of 'existential' climate threat, vows bold action Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows to push for Paris climate goals | Senate confirms Brouillette to succeed Perry at Energy | EPA under attack from all sides over ethanol rule 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 McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership 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.