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Waxman Defeats Dingell for Energy Committee Chair

10:19 AM PST on November 20, 2008

It's official.  Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) defeated Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) in the race to be chair of the House of Representatives Energy Committee.  This is good news for Californians interesting inlobbying on behalf of a greener energy policy, after all there are few people as influential as the Energy Committee Chair, and for the environment in general.

Dingell has long been a water carrier for the embattled Big 3 Automakers and their union constituencies.  Recently he's been responsible for lax Greenhouse Gas standards and has generally fought toughening federal clean air laws.  Dingell has promised to be a more environmentally friendly Committee Chair.

Is Dingell's ouster a signal of waning power on Capitol Hill for U.S. automakers?  The news from Capitol Hill doesn't appear good for those hoping Congress writes a $25 billion check to bailout the Big 3.

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