Last week, likely incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed that she had selected Democratic congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) to chair the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which Pelosi initially created in 2007, the GOP terminated in 2011, and Pelosi has decided to reestablish.
But The Washington Free Beacon noted that Castor has owned stock in various companies that are some of the worst polluters in America. The Beacon wrote:
When joining Congress in 2007, Castor reported owning between $15,001 and $50,000 of stock in Dow Chemical, which has consistently been labeled as America’s top water polluter by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Castor’s holdings in Dow grew throughout 2008, even as the company drew fire from the Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act and inadequately cleaning up dioxin contamination on the Tittabawassee River in Michigan.
The Beacon reported that in 2014, after she became more vocal in supporting alternative energy sources, Castor began selling off much of her Dow stock, the last of which was apparently sold in May 2016, but at roughly the same time, she bought between $1,001 and $15,000 in Caterpillar, Inc., which agreed to a $1 billion settlement in 1998 for circumventing federal emission standards. The Beacon added that Castor’s “financial disclosures show that she owned stock in General Electric and the Alcoa Corporation—two of America’s top air polluters, according to PERI.”
Pelosi issued a statement trumpeting her new creation and its new chief: “This committee will be critical to the entire Congress’s mission to respond to the urgency of this threat, while creating the good-paying, green jobs of the future. Congresswoman Castor is a proven champion for public health and green infrastructure, who deeply understands the scope and seriousness of this threat. Her decades of experience in this fight … will be vital.”
Pelosi initially created the committee in 2007 after the Democrats won back the House in 2006; House Republicans stated “that the committee was unnecessary or that its budget could be used better by the ethics committee. Congressman John Dingell, a Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Congressman Charles Rangel, also a Democrat, opposed the idea, but Pelosi sold the idea by asserting that the committee would only be an advisory one. GOP congressman Joe Barton slammed the idea, calling it a “platform for some members to grandstand.”
The Beacon reported that Castor’s office did not return requests for comment.