What to make of the Waxman-Dingell dispute?
by the mollusk, Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 07:15:20 AM EST
CNN is reporting that Henry Waxman, a favorite among environmentalists, is challenging John Dingell for Chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I could hardly sum up the current challenges of our country more succinctly than "Energy and Commerce" and it would be great to have a more easily recognizable Progressive in charge of this committee.
John Dingell is from Dearborn, MI and is widely considered to be friendly to the automobile industry. This is an industry that has essentially dismantled public transportation, blocked many reasonable proposals to increase energy efficiency, and is losing badly in the current economic environment. Then again, the auto industry is probably one of the largest remaining unionized workplaces in the country and John Dingell, despite his supposed ties to the industry, has been given ratings of 94 and 100% by League of Conservation Voters for the past two House sessions.
I understand that there are many subtleties not captured in the LCV rating. For example, Dingell may have voted "correctly" in all of the environmentally-related votes in the House, but how many bills were watered down before they left his committee? How many bills were killed outright because they weren't friendly enough to the auto industry? These questions plague me.
I think that we're at a critical moment with regards to energy policy in this country. I also believe that establishing a successful Green Collar economy is a way to solve several ills simultaneously: energy dependence, lack of scientific jobs available in this country, a way to rejuvenate the innovation and manufacturing sectors of our economy, and combat pollution associated with fossil fuel burning.
So, it's Waxman for me. But what do you think? Is it time to throw put our shoulders into this and start a campaign to get him voted in?