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Posted at 5:35 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Markey opts for Natural Resources Committee post

By Juliet Eilperin

In the clearest sign yet that climate legislation isn't headed anywhere next Congress, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) opted Thursday to give up his subcommittee post on the House Energy and Commerce in favor of the top Democratic slot on the House Natural Resources Committee.

"In the next Congress, Republicans will attempt to short-circuit the laws that keep our water clean, our air clear and our public lands pristine, while giving short shrift to emerging clean energy technologies that can create jobs and clean up our environment," said Markey, who has served on the panel since 1976. "With my fellow Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee, I believe we can chart a course that will continue the progress we've made on creating energy jobs here in America, without sacrificing our nation's natural heritage."

In addition to chairing the Energy and Environment Subcommittee on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Markey has chaired the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming since 2007. But Republicans are going to abolish the panel, which outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) created, when they take control of the chamber next month.

Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WVa.) is the current chair of the Natural Resources Committee, but he has opted to take the ranking member position on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee now that Markey has claimed the top spot on Resources.

By Juliet Eilperin  | December 16, 2010; 5:35 PM ET
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