"Fred Upton's decidedly anti-energy voting record makes him decidedly unsuitable to be the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee. America needs to increase its domestic energy supplies, and Upton has opposed it at every turn."—ALG President Bill Wilson.
November 9th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged House Republican leadership to block Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) from taking over the House Energy and Commerce committee, noting "his abysmal voting record on energy issues."
"At a time when Americans are rejecting the Obama anti-energy agenda, Representative Fred Upton has spent his career in Congress embracing radical environmentalism," Wilson said, adding, "Fred Upton has repeatedly voted against expanding energy production in the U.S. as the nation's dependence on foreign sources of fuel has only grown."
Wilson praised House Republican Leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor for "reaching out to conservatives and making good opening moves. But Fred Upton has not earned a promotion. He has consistently voted against conservative, pro-growth positions. His elevation would send the exact wrong signal to tea party members, conservatives and the tens of thousands of people who worked themselves to the bone to elect the GOP majority."
Wilson pointed to Upton's votes against offshore drilling in Florida and the Great Lakes, and his vote to block millions of acres of land from energy exploration and mineral leasing.
Wilson said "that's just the tip of the iceberg. As gasoline was rocketing past $4 a gallon because of the weak dollar, Upton blamed it on American energy companies by voting to raise taxes on them, which would have been passed on to consumers with even higher costs."
Wilson explained, "History has now shown that the 2008 energy and commodities bubble was directly related to government's weak dollar policy. But that didn't prevent Representative Upton using it as a pretext to raise taxes on energy producers, who largely are blameless for inflation caused by printing too many dollars."
Wilson continued, "Upton actually cosponsored the bill that banned the Thomas Edison incandescent light bulb, forcing its replacement with dangerous, mercury-laden bulbs. The costs of containing these poisonous new bulbs will ultimately far outweigh the supposed energy usage 'savings'. If an American happens to drop one on the floor, it's a toxic hazard requiring thousands of dollars to clean up."
"But that's not all," Wilson added. "Upton voted against reimbursing property owners who are blocked by government from developing their own land on account of protecting endangered species."
Wilson said Upton also opposes "the basic tenants of federalism. He opposed giving local governments veto power over federal decisions to acquire land even though the federal government already holds over 650 million acres of land at the expense of economic development."
Wilson concluded, "Fred Upton's decidedly anti-energy voting record makes him decidedly unsuitable to be the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee. America needs to increase its domestic energy supplies, and Upton has opposed it at every turn. We need all the energy we can get, and the only thing standing in the way are politicians like Upton and the bureaucrats he empowers."
Fred Upton's Voting Record, November 9th, 2010.