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A worker installs a photovoltaic panel for the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy South project in the Imperial Valley west of El Centro, California. In 2007, shortly after Democrats took back the House of Representatives in the 2006 midterm elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming , meant to gather expert testimony and develop policy plans to address climate change. Until Republicans killed it in 2011, the select committee amassed an enormous body of knowledge, which it contributed to the 2007 energy bill , the 2009 Obama stimulus bill , and the ill-fated Waxman-Markey climate bill (which died in the Senate ). In 2018, just before Democrats re-took the House, Pelosi proposed reconstituting the committee . In the wake of the election, climate change activists, led by newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, demanded that the new committee have teeth — that it be charged with developing a Green New Deal. The original sit-in at Pelosi’s office , where AOC drew scads of media attention by appearing after having been elected but before being sworn in, was in part about demanding a more robust committee. Activists eventually got dozens of lawmakers to […]

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