Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., will lead a resurrected House committee on climate change, effectively ending Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-N.Y., push for a Green New Deal.
Castor, a six-term congresswoman, told E&E News on Thursday that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had asked her to lead the climate change panel in the next Congress.
“It’s a great responsibility,” Castor said, adding that while proponents of the Green New Deal, a program that would promote climate-friendly jobs, “have some terrific idea. . . that's not going to be our sole focus.”
She also declined to say that members of Congress who accept money from the fossil fuel industry should be disqualified from sitting on the panel, saying, “I don't think you can do that under the First Amendment, really,” but later told HuffPost that she had given an “inartful answer,” and that she didn’t know if the committee chair had that authority.
“Maybe that’s a discussion we need to have in the caucus,” the congresswoman said, adding that she would consider taking the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge that Green New Deal advocates have called for.
HuffPost notes that it’s currently unclear whether Ocasio-Cortez will even receive a seat on the committee despite her central role in the call for a Green New Deal.
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