[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Skip to Main Content

Latest News

Advertise Here
November 8, 2010
Volume 88, Number 45
p. 11

Sweeping Changes For Congress

Midterm Elections: Republicans Gain house, trim Democrats’ Senate majority

Glenn Hess, Cheryl Hogue, Jeff Johnson, and David Pittman

  • Print this article
  • Email the editor

Latest News

October 28, 2011

Speedy Homemade-Explosive Detector

Forensic Chemistry: A new method could increase the number of explosives detected by airport screeners.

Solar Panel Makers Cry Foul

Trade: U.S. companies complain of market dumping by China.

Novartis To Cut 2,000 Jobs

Layoffs follow similar moves by Amgen, AstraZeneca.

Nations Break Impasse On Waste

Environment: Ban to halt export of hazardous waste to developing world.

New Leader For Lawrence Livermore

Penrose (Parney) Albright will direct DOE national lab.

Hair Reveals Source Of People's Exposure To Mercury

Toxic Exposure: Mercury isotopes in human hair illuminate dietary and industrial sources.

Why The Long Fat?

Cancer Biochemistry: Mass spectrometry follows the metabolism of very long fatty acids in cancer cells.

Text Size A A

In one of the nation’s most expensive and divisive elections, the Republican Party took over the House of Representatives, gaining at least 60 seats and an advantage of 239 to 186. When C&EN went to press, the outcome of 10 seats was still undecided. In the Senate, the Democrats retained the majority by a slim margin, 52 to 46, with two seats undecided.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) retains the Senate helm, but Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be replaced as Speaker of the House by Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). House committee leaderships for next year are currently in flux as senior Republican members jockey for control.

A key decision for Republicans is who will chair the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, with jurisdiction over climate, energy, and pollution laws. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), an oil industry backer and EPA critic, is the committee’s top Republican and former chairman. However, Barton needs a term-limit waiver from GOP leaders to take over the committee. Otherwise, both Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) have indicated their desire to head this panel. Unlike many Democrats, none of these lawmakers is expected to tackle reform of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, the federal chemical management law.

Hall Courtesy of Ralph Hall
King Courtesy of Peter King

Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) is in line to take over the House Homeland Security Committee, with jurisdiction over chemical plant security. The Republican victory is expected to make it unlikely that chemical facility security legislation will include a mandate for inherently safer technologies.

For the House Science & Technology Committee, ranking member Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas) says he will assume chairmanship. However, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), the committee’s second-ranking Republican, has also been rumored to want the position.

Sensenbrenner, a climate-change skeptic, could take over chairmanship of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming, a panel that Democrats created in 2007. Republicans could dismantle the committee or keep it, giving Sensenbrenner a bully pulpit to take on climate-change science and policy.

Overall, supporters of climate-change legislation and energy reform took a beating on election night. But in California, voters rejected an oil-industry-backed proposition intended to block a state law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Supporters of climate-change legislation and energy reform took a beating on election night.

On the day after the election, President Barack Obama acknowledged the need for compromise, signaling a willingness to trim back his agenda and focus on areas in which he and the Republicans could agree: fuel efficiency, nuclear energy, electric vehicles, and energy jobs. On climate change and clean energy, he said, “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
  • Print this article
  • Email the editor

Services & Tools

ACS Resources

ACS is the leading employment source for recruiting scientific professionals. ACS Careers and C&EN Classifieds provide employers direct access to scientific talent both in print and online. Jobseekers | Employers

» Join ACS

Join more than 161,000 professionals in the chemical sciences world-wide, as a member of the American Chemical Society.
» Join Now!