Dingell is out and Waxman is in as Energy And Commerce Chair. That may seem like inside-politics baseball, but it is kind of a big deal. This is a huge victory for environmentalists. TPM has the details:
Dingell, who first entered the House way back when Eisenhower was president, had been the head Democrat on this committee ever since 1981.
But many of the more liberal members over the years came to view him as too friendly to Michigan's auto industry and hostile to environmentalists — especially on issues like climate change and carbon limits.
It also shakes up Congress' seniority system and is yet another sign that the political momentum is squarely in the camp of aggressive Dems. Waxman played a lead role in staking out a far more aggressive stance towards the Bush administration than many other more cautious Dems would take.
The willingness to address the global warming crisis could be the single most important change ushered in by the Obama administration – and now with Waxman taking over from Dingell, the prospects for real action just got that much closer to realization.