Q&A: Meet the Energy and Commerce Committee’s newest member

By Nico Portuondo | 04/30/2024 06:15 AM EDT

Michigan Republican John James wants to shape policies on electric vehicles, critical minerals and climate change.

Rep. John James (R-Mich.).

Rep. John James (R-Mich.) is the first freshman on the Energy and Commerce Committee in more than a decade. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rep. John James, who represents a suburban Detroit district, recently got the rare honor of being fast-tracked to the Energy and Commerce Committee during his first term in Congress.

He’s the first freshman named to the influential panel since 2011 (back then it was Republican Cory Gardner of Colorado), and he’s eager to dive in.

“I believe Michigan still has tremendous amounts of potential, but it needs the right leadership,” James said in a recent interview. “My state needs help now and being on Energy and Commerce is the best way to do it.”


The Michigan Republican added he’s not going to “squander this opportunity.” Indeed, he’s already planning to lead an effort to overturn the Biden administration’s rule on tailpipe emissions for cars and small trucks that Republicans have called a de facto electric vehicle mandate.