Dingell Wanes as Waxman Takes Over Energy and Commerce

One of the major, Eisenhower-era obstacles to fuel efficiency, automaker reform and meaningful climate change legislation is finally out of the way. The Democratic caucus has ousted Michigan Rep. John Dingell as chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee. He’ll be replaced by California Rep. Henry Waxman. Amen. 

Grist, TPM and Politico have the news.

  • This is excellent news. What will US policy look like when the auto industry is no longer calling the shots? We’ll soon find out.

  • Good riddance to Dingell, at least as far as the Energy and Commerce Committee is concerned. I was confused by the “Eisenhower-era” reference until I looked it up — sure enough, Dingell has been in the House since 1955, is currently the longest-serving member, and is the second all-time longest-serving member. That’s a long time to be an obstacle to progress. GM should give him a gold-plated Cadillac.

  • Miguel Marcos

    Yipee, finally!

  • Yes, Dingell has been a much too-good friend to the auto industry, at huge expense to the rest of us. But he also had the vision in 2007 to write, and push, a carbon tax bill that would not only have slapped a stiff levy on gasoline but would have helped beat back suburban sprawl by repealing the federal income-tax deduction for interest on mortgages for McMansions. All too predictably, however, none of the “smart growth” groups backed his bill, and the Big Green groups ran fast in the opposite direction. For the full sad story with another perspective on “Big John,” click on my year-ago Grist article.


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