12/02/14 : David Caughran

The House of Representatives Welcomes a Slew of New Committee Leaders in Preparation for the 114th Congress

With midterm elections wrapped up and the 113th Congress almost in the books, the House of Representatives usher in new leaders slated to take over a variety of important Committee leadership roles in preparation for the 114th Congress.

House Committee on Energy and Commerce

Chairman of the Committee on Energy Commerce, Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) was selected by his colleagues to continue serving in his capacity as Chairman. Upton has been very supportive of energy efficiency policy as Chair of the Committee identifying it as one of the five pillars of his energy plan. Of note, the Committee has passed several energy efficiency related bills under his leadership, and the Chairman has expressed his desire to get those bills passed out of the House in the new Congress.

Of the six Energy and Commerce Subcommittees, five will see their respective chairmen return to the their posts, with the exception of Alliance Vice-Chair Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX), who will succeed Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) in leading the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee. Rep. Burgess, a long-time friend of the Alliance, joined us at our most recent Energy 2030 On the Road campaign stop in Ft. Worth to discuss the good work being done by Texans to advance energy productivity in the Lone Star state. Also of note, Ed Whitfield (R-KY) will continue to chair the Energy and Power Subcommittee, and John Shimkus (R-IL) will continue to Chair the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee.

After a heated campaign, the full Democratic caucus chose Frank Pallone (D-NJ) over Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to take the Ranking Member vacated by long-time Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) who is retiring at the end of the 113th Congress. The Alliance looks forward to working with Pallone who has been a strong champion for energy efficiency resource standards and energy efficiency tax incentives during his tenure.

House Appropriations Committee

Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) will remain chair of the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) will stay on as the Ranking Democrat. Rogers has been pushing for an Omnibus Appropriations bill to finalize action on a slew of FY2015 Appropriations bills in the lame duck session, including the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill which designates funds for programs supporting energy efficiency through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the Department of Energy. The energy and water bill was shepherded through the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Power by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) who will remain as subcommittee Chair and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) who will continue as subcommittee Ranking Member. Kaptur will also continue to serve as Ranking Member of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee alongside Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA).The Committee approved an Energy and Water Appropriations bill providing an aggregate increase in funds of 2% over FY2014 levels for programs within EERE that focus on energy efficiency.

House Committee on Ways and Means

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was elected Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over Congressional spending and influential tax policy. Ryan will replace long-time Chairman David Camp (R-MI). Rep. Sander Levin was approved by the Democratic Caucus to stay on as Ranking Member of the Committee. Rep. Ryan has been vocal about his intent to bring up comprehensive tax reform, offering an opportunity to consider a number of important energy tax incentives that bolster energy productivity in the U.S. and create jobs. Ryan has also been supportive of introducing dynamic scoring into the Congressional Budget Office scoring process which will help expand the utilization of energy savings performance contracts that help finance energy efficiency projects within the Federal government.

House Committee on Natural Resources

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) will chair the House Natural Resources Committee in the next Congress — the current chairman, Doc Hastings (R-WA) will retire at the end of this year. Bishop is currently chairman of the public lands and environmental regulation subcommittee. On November 26, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) was elected Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee as Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) moves to take the Ranking Member spot on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Grijalva has stated he wants to find areas where he would be able to work together with incoming Resources Chairman Bishop and will prioritize environmental stewardship and combatting climate change in his new role on the Committee.

The Alliance looks forward to working with these new Committee leaders to advance the goal of doubling energy productivity in the U.S. by 2030 and to ensure that energy efficiency remains a top priority in the 114th Congress.