Politics

Markey not on climate committee

Sen. Edward Markey was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Sen. Edward Markey was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington Tuesday.

WASHINGTON - Senator Edward J. Markey received his committee assignments Wednesday, and in a mild surprise, he was not placed on the panel that oversees climate change legislation.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who was sworn into office on Tuesday, was named to three committees, according to his office: Commerce, Science & Transportation; Foreign Relations; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Markey has been a leading advocate on climate change legislation, co-authoring a cap and trade bill in the House with Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat. The Waxman-Markey bill, as it is known, was approved in 2009, when Democrats ran the House. But it died in the Senate. Markey had said he was eager to pursue the issue in the upper chamber when he was elected last month to fill the former Senate seat of John F. Kerry.

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The Committee on Environment and Public Works, led by Senator Barbara Boxer of California, oversees climate legislation in the Senate.

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It’s worth noting, however, that Kerry held the same committee assignments that Markey received and became an important player in the Senate’s climate debate.

Markey also has expertise in telecommunications law from his more than 36 years of experience in the House, which could allow him to become a quick contributor on the Commerce Committee.

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.