House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in new comments published Wednesday that climate change will become a front-and-center issue if the Democrats take back the House.

In a lengthy interview published Wednesday by the New York Times, the California congresswoman said she would resurrect the defunct select committee on climate change if the Democrats win back the House in November. The GOP killed off the Democrat-funded special committee when they took control in 2011.

The committee's purpose was to "prepare the way with evidence" for developing legislation for energy conservation and climate change mitigation legislation, Pelosi told the newspaper.

She explained that the committee would also have a role in educating the public on the effect climate change was having on weather, intensifying storms and increasing the frequency of drought and wildfires.

Pelosi's state has taken the lead in the nation in addressing climate change by passing the nation's first bill setting long-term targets to curb greenhouse gases, which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.