House Democratic leaders voted 137-122 to oust auto-industry ally Representative John Dingell from his chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce committee, replacing him with Representative Henry Waxman, Bloomberg reports.
Waxman is an advocate for pollution controls and currently leads the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He argued that a leadership change of the energy panel was needed to help push legislation sought by the administration of President-elect Barack Obama, who has made renewable energy a focus of his energy policy.
However, Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, told Bloomberg that Waxman’s win signals rough times ahead for energy producers.
In October, Waxman wrote to the EPA urging the agency not to move ahead with regulations to judge power plants on their hourly rate of emissions rather than their total annual output.
Earlier this year, Waxman held hearing on allegations that the White House intervened to water down new EPA smog rules, which are weaker than those recommended by the agency’s science advisers.