Thursday, November 20, 2008

Short man or tall door?

Inspired by a section in 'The Week' magazine I'm going to start a new tag called 'Boring but important.' First use will for the news today that Representative Henry Waxman has won the chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee from holder Representative John Dingell.

Although both men are members of the Democratic party Mr. Dingell has been a strong ally of the auto industry and has blocked many safety and environmental standards that the auto companies argued they could not meet.

Mr. Waxman has long championed clean air legislation, increased federal support for disease research and is a strong advocate of legislation to combat climate change. It is suggested that the tacit approval of Nancy Pelosi, that allowed the 'coup' that replaced Dingell, was designed to help accelerate passage of energy, climate and health legislation backed by President-elect Barack Obama.

Others have pointed out that it was Representative Waxman who was responsible for the exposure of the dubious scientific practices of big tobacco firms in congressional hearings in the mid '90's.

'Waxman is now in a position to haul the energy executives onto to the floor and demand they release their strategy documents to confuse the science of global warming and expose this campaign just like he did with Big Tobacco. He now has the power to expose this campaign of confusion that has effectively delayed action on the most important issue we face today.'

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