WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 -- Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, issued the following news release on Jan. 27, 2023:
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) was selected today to serve as the top Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees the nation's energy policy.
As the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security, DeGette will play a key role in shaping Democrats' energy priorities and pushing back on Republicans' efforts to slow America's transition to cleaner forms of renewable energy.
"There is no greater threat to the future of our planet than the threat we face from climate change," DeGette said. "It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead my Democratic colleagues on this important panel at such a critical time. Every single one of us is at risk because of our changing climate. The only way we are going to solve this crisis is by taking steps now to reduce our emissions and break America's addiction to oil by expediting the innovation and deployment of new clean-energy technologies that can provide people with the reliable and affordable energy they need. And I am hopeful that by continuing to engage with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, that we will be able to work together on bipartisan climate legislation this congress."
DeGette's selection to lead the powerful panel during the 118th Congress comes on the heels of several high-profile hearings DeGette chaired as head of the Energy and Commerce committee's Oversight and Investigations panel to the hold some of the nation's largest oil and gas producers accountable.
Among the more notable was a hearing DeGette led in April of last year in which top executives from the nation's largest oil producing companies were called to testify together and explain to the American people - under oath - why consumers were suddenly being forced to pay record high prices for gas at the pump.
She has also authored several key pieces of legislation to limit the industry's emissions - including one of the first bills President Biden signed into law shortly after taking office to restore the methane-emission standards that were previously put in place by the Obama administration, but later repealed under the Trump administration.
Those standards, which set strict limits on the amount of methane oil and gas companies can release from drilling sites in the U.S., are widely seen by climate scientists as critical to combatting the climate crisis.
As the top Democrat on the committee's Oversight and Investigations panel for more than a decade, DeGette led the committee's investigations into the oil and gas industry's controversial drilling process known as fracking, as well as its efforts to investigate the repeated failures of the power grids in Texas and Puerto Rico.
She also successfully led an effort to include several key provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that was signed into law this past Summer to hold oil and gas companies more accountable for any methane leaks at their drilling sites, and to fund the innovation of new clean-energy technologies that can be rapidly deployed to lower the industry's emissions.
DeGette recently authored legislation she plans to reintroduce this year to create the first-ever federal clean-energy standard that would require U.S. electricity producers to fully eliminate their net carbon emissions as early as 2035 and no later than 2050.
The legislation - which was developed with significant input from both the nation's top environmental groups, as well as some of the biggest electricity producers - has been hailed by both sides as a sign that an agreement is possible to help the U.S. lower its overall emissions and reach its climate goals.
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Original text here: https://degette.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/degette-lead-top-democrat-house-energy-subcommittee