Markey to Head Key Subcommittee

Posted January 8, 2009 at 3:13pm

Liberal Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will take the helm of the subcommittee overseeing global warming and fuel economy legislation this Congress instead of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), a moderate from coal country who had been closely aligned with ousted Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.).

Markey, who has chaired a special global warming committee set up by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will now have direct sway over the shape of major environmental legislation expected later this year.

Boucher has been a champion for items such as carbon-capture technology for coal-fired power plants. But he also has been an opponent of items such as a national renewable electricity mandate backed by Pelosi.

Boucher will take the chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, which had been held by Markey. Boucher now has oversight of issues like the looming digital television transition and the rolling out of broadband Web services.

The pair issued a joint statement announcing the switch, with Boucher saying he was pleased to be taking the new position and each pledging to work together.