House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants to set up a special committee on “energy independence and global warming” issues. Pelosi said on Jan. 18 that the committee would not have jurisdiction over drafting bills but would “help develop information that will help us give these issues the legislative priority they demand.” Pelosi did not announce who would chair the panel, but published reports mention Edward Markey (D-Mass.) as a leading candidate.

National Environmental Trust Pres-ident Philip E. Clapp says the House has been generally unsuccessful in shifting U.S. energy policies partly because jurisdiction is “balkanized” among a half-dozen committees. Pelosi hopes to have global warming and energy bills out of committees by July 4.