Green ratified as Environment and Hazardous Materials chairman
July 9, 2008
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) was officially ratified as chairman of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee by the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee today. He replaces former Chairman Albert Wynn (D-Md.) who resigned from the House of Representatives in May.
“We have some important issues to consider, and we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting a lot of substantive work done,” Green said. “We'll be working on quality of life issues that affect millions of families across the country.”
The Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee's jurisdiction includes environmental protection in general, including risk assessment matters, the Safe Drinking Water Act, solid waste, hazardous waste and toxic substances, including Superfund and the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act. As chairman, Green will have the power to hold hearings and develop environmental protection legislation.
“Gene Green will be an outstanding Chairman of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee,” said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. “He has long been a valued Member of the Committee and a strong defender of the public health and the taxpayer’s dollar on a broad range of issues under the Committee’s jurisdiction. It will be a privilege to work with him in his new capacity and I congratulate him on his new chairmanship.”
The subcommittee’s legislative agenda includes bills to improve chemical plant security, improve drinking water safety, and ban asbestos in the United States. Green said that as chairman he also intends to continue the subcommittee’s work on electronic waste (E-waste) issues and become involved in chemical plant safety and climate change.
As part of his new workload, Green will have oversight over many aspects of federal environmental laws dealing with chemicals and environmental cleanup. He said he will closely monitor federal cleanup of the San Jacinto Waste Pits, located just north of the I-10 Bridge over the San Jacinto River. In response to a request from Green and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Humble), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the San Jacinto site to the Superfund list in March 2008. “We will do everything possible to make sure it is cleaned up promptly,” Green said.
Recognizing the leader of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, Green said, “Chairman Dingell crafted many of our nation’s laws protecting environmental health and safety, and I am honored to have this opportunity.”
Green also paid tribute to his predecessor, saying former Chairman Wynn set an impressive standard of leadership. “I appreciate his re-energizing the subcommittee, and I intend to follow that precedent,” he said.
He also credited other key members of the subcommittee. “I look forward to working closely with Vice-Chair Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) who is a first-rate friend and colleague, and Ranking Member John Shadegg (R-Ariz.),” he said. “The bipartisan approach is the most powerful way to solve the problems we'll be facing, and I know Congressman Shadegg and I will have a good working relationship.”
Green was elected to Congress in 1992 after a 20-year career in Texas state government. He began serving on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee in 1997, and has served on the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee for several terms.
Green also serves on the Health, Telecommunications, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees, the Foreign Affairs Committee and its Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, the Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics) Committee, and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He is also an at-large whip for the Democratic Party.