Most Democrats on the House Oversight subcommittee that will investigate the EPA, Energy Department, and Interior Department will be members serving in Congress for the first time.
Four of the seven members, including Chairman Harley Rouda (Calif.), are freshmen.
The members have already made a splash for their progressive ambitions. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), the youngest member of Congress, is a top proponent of a Green New Deal, a plan to transition the country’s energy away from fossil fuels in the coming decade.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment in her first week in the House. And Rep. Katie Hill (Calif.) won her election against Republican Rep. Steve Knight campaigning as “America’s most millennial candidate.”
House Oversight was “an important committee for me to be on,” Tlaib told Bloomberg Environment, citing her Detroit-area district’s poor air quality and petroleum coke pollution.
Tlaib added that she is working on a document on what her district, Michigan’s 13th, would like to see in the Green New Deal.
Hill, however, is more cautious about a Green New Deal, which critics say could be costly.
“I want to see details,” she told Bloomberg Environment. She would like the subcommittee to hold hearings on the link between climate change and natural disasters.
Rouda, a former realtor who switched from the Republican Party to become an independent in 1997, won his election against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R), who denied the mainstream science behind climate change.
Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), who was elected to North Dakota’s at-large district after former Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) ran for the Senate and won, is the lone freshman among five Republicans on the subcommittee.
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(Adds Rashida Tlaib and Katie Hill comments throughout.)