Markey Seeks to Replace Rahall As Top Natural Resources Democrat

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Guam – Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey may replace longtime Natural Resources Chair Nick Rahall as top panel democrat when the house switches to GOP control next year. 

Markey wrote fellow house democrats, he’ll seek the top Natural Resources Democratic slot, based on his Seniority on the panel …that, from the hill newspaper last week.

Markey who has little if any record on insular issues, would if picked, succeed longtime panel Chair Nick Rahall, seen as a friend of the islands, and the expected new top Democrat on House Transportation and Infrastructure.

But Markey—known for his work on energy and the environment–faces a challenge from Raul Grijalva of Arizona, who headed the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee in the current Congress.

The present ranking Republican on House Resources, Doc Hastings of  Washington State, is the presumed incoming full Committee Chairman.

But the big question for the CNMI, Guam and the other territories is what will happen to the Insular Affairs Subcommittee—headed by Guam’s Madeleine Bordallo in the outgoing congress–and who will Chair it if it continues in some form.

One early rumor here is that Alaska Republican and former Resources Chair in the nineties Don Young will Chair a reconstituted Native American and Insular Affairs Subcommittee.

But Young’s Alaska Office did not return calls on whether he’s interested in such a post.

Young’s seniority on Insular Affairs puts him in line to succeed retiring top Republican Henry Brown of South Carolina…but young carries political baggage from the Jack Abramoff lobbying days…and from Committee staffer Mark Zachares—a former NMI labor official—who plead guilty to taking bribes.