CAPITAL REGION — U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, will chair the Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change in the House of Representatives, his office announced this week.
With Democrats in control of the House, the 20th Congressional District representative sought the post leading the subcomittee, which falls under the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Democratic committee members picked him for the post.
The subcommittee has exclusive jurisdiction over the Clean Air Act, and Tonko said it will be at the forefront of tackling climate change and carbon pollution. Tonko was the ranking minority member of the committee in the last Congress, and has been developing a framework for climate action with input from climate experts and industry, social and environmental stakeholders.
“Climate change is a threat to the American people, our military and countless jobs and industries throughout our U.S. economy,” Tonko said. “We don’t have the time or resources to let this president and his allies in Congress sit on their hands for another two years while historic hurricanes, wildfires, illnesses such as Lyme disease and countless other climate-driven threats ravage our nation."
The subcommittee also has jurisdiction over the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Superfund cleanup program, Tonko said. He will also serve on the subcommittees on Energy and Oversight and Investigations, as he did in the previous Congress.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, meanwhile, will serve on the Agriculture and the Transportation and Infrastructure committees -- appointments made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Delgado, who represents the 19th Congressional District, said he was pleased with the assignments.
"As a member of these committees, I can advocate for key issues ranging from supporting our farmers to expanding rural broadband to improving our water infrastructure," he said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make advancements that will have a real impact on families, farmers and businesses in upstate New York.”
The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has jurisdiction over all transportation, including highways and bridges, and national infrastructure, including water infrastructure and rural economic development. The Agriculture Committee has jurisdiction over a breadth of issues affecting farms and the environment, including crop insurance, rural agriculture development and food assistance programs.
The House Republican Steering Committee has yet to make its committee assignments.