Garret Graves is picked as top Republican on House climate change committee

WASHINGTON - Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves says he hopes to broaden the focus of a special House committee on climate change as he becomes its top Republican. Graves, who was named to the panel Thursday (Feb. 28), said the current climate debate centers on only part of the equation.

While protecting the environment is crucial, he said, lawmakers also should also focus on employment opportunities and improving the United States’ competitiveness in the global economy.

Energy production and consumption, mitigation and adaptation, and shared responsibility must be discussed if we’re truly going to be ‘global’ in this important conversation,” he said, explaining that he favors an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy.

Graves, 47, is serving his third term representing the Baton Rouge-based 6th Congressional District and formerly chaired the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority under Gov. Bobby Jindal. He was among six Republicans named to the climate panel, which is led by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla.

“At the risk of being self-serving,” Graves said, “there’s no better place on the planet to begin this conversation than coastal Louisiana.”

Other Republicans on the panel are Reps. Morgan Griffith of Virginia, Gary Palmer of Alabama, Buddy Carter of Georgia, Carol Miller of West Virginia and Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced the GOP members three weeks after Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped eight Democrats to join Castor.

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