Sensenbrenner Seeks K Street Support for Global Warming Panel

Posted November 8, 2010 at 6:20pm

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is taking his campaign to keep the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming downtown.

The Wisconsinite is the top Republican on the committee, which was created by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2007 and has no legislative authority. There has been widespread speculation that Republicans would shut it down, and Sensenbrenner announced his desire to keep the committee intact to Roll Call on Monday.

He is seeking support on the matter from K Street, and his staff began sending e-mails last week asking for signatures on a letter that calls for reauthorizing the committee as a rebranded entity with a greater focus on overseeing the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sensenbrenner spokesman Terry Lane confirmed the outreach. “There has been some interest in the business community,” Lane said. “There is a lot of concern of how the EPA regulation could affect them. … The Congressman and the staff have been seeing what kind of support is out there.”

Several K Streeters questioned Sensenbrenner’s approach, arguing that keeping the committee intact is unlikely. Given the strong support for the oil and gas industries among the GOP ranks, which one Republican lobbyist dubbed the “polluters caucus,” several Republican lobbyists said they believe the committee will be eliminated.