Watch out EPA, Fred Upton is on the debt ‘super committee’


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Michigan Republican Fred Upton has established his credentials as an adversary of environmental regulation during his chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. So his appointment to the ‘super committee’ charged with working out cuts to address the nation’s budget deficit is certain to raise eyebrows among environmentalists.

Upton has shepherded a bill to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases, which a Supreme Court decision said was the purview of the agency. Once a champion of banning incandescent light bulbs, he has promised to hold hearings to reexamine the light bulb standard. His committee has held several climate-change hearings that were heavily skewed toward marginalized skeptics of the consensus scientific view that human activity is warming the planet and altering the climate.


Upton also received $20,000 in donations from employees of the David and Charles Koch oil conglomerate in 2010, making them among his top 10 donors in that cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The billionaire oilmen have been major donors to the campaign to cast doubt on climate change.

Upton made no mention Wednesday of his adversarial position on environmental regulation, but a statement included this: ‘Much more needs to be done to bring down healthcare costs, promote economic growth and begin to tame runaway government.’

That final phrase is GOP political code for regulation.


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-- Geoff Mohan