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“Unfortunately, many of the new members elected to the House have expressed opinions ranging from skepticism to outright denial about the facts regarding climate change,” Dan Lashof, director of the climate center at the National Resources Defense Council, said in an interview last week with CBS News. “As more senior members jockey for positions to be committee chairmen, they’re suggesting a highly obstructionist agenda.”

Even the committee’s top Republican, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin - who was in line to become its chairman in the new Congress - expressed regret over the panel’s demise.

“While I was initially skeptical of the select committee’s mission, it ultimately provided a forum for bipartisan debate and an opportunity for House Republicans to share a different view on the pressing energy and environment issues that we currently face,” said Mr. Sensenbrenner during the panel’s final hearing Wednesday.