According to House Democratic sources, Henry Waxman beat John Dingell in a 137-122 vote to be the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which Dingell currently chairs.
Updates to come.
This win coupled with former Waxman Chief of Staff Phil Schiliro’s appointment to the Obama administration indicates that the White House and the Energy and Commerce Committee will have no trouble staying on the same page. This is a huge victory for aggressive climate change legislation. As previously noted, Dingell has been an obstacle to everything from an effective climate bill to higher CAFE standards as he sought to protect the domestic automotive industry in Detroit. Waxman, meanwhile, has proven himself to be a dogged voice for sanity on the climate issue, going to the mattresses with the EPA over the Bush administration’s efforts to stymie climate legislation in California and the rest of the country.]
[LATE LATE UPDATE: You can start to get a feel for how big of a win this is for climate legislation from the reports coming out about it now. Bloomberg has a story today (11/21/08) in which Waxman’s victory is called a “sea change” by Senator Barbara Boxer. ]
[STILL LATER UPDATE: ClimateScienceWatch has a roundup of previous comments on Waxman.]