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Rep. Fred Upton Of St. Joseph Sells Out Mi Enviroment


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Another spineless Michigan politician has sold us out to special interests and its our great states and families health that will suffer.


He who doesn't accept the conditions of life sells his soul.

- Charles Baudelaire





An analysis of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton's stance on environmental matters reported in the L.A. Times concludes that the St. Joseph Republican's stance had shifted under the influence of conservative Tea Party Republicans.


"Upton's staff declined to make him available for an interview," the story by L.A. Times Washington Bureau reporter Neela Banerjee says. The story relies on Upton's voting record and observations of others involved in environmental protection and legislation to track Upton's current position as leader the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees environmental regulation.


The story notes Upton's early track record of moderate environmental action, citing his vote for amendments strengthening the Clean Air Act, his co-sponsorship of a bill to phase out incandescent light bulbs, and his own website declaration that "climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions."


But that statement is no longer on the website, victim of political pressure, the story suggests, and recent actions have alarmed and angered envronmentalists who worry about the influence of conservative Republicans and the possibility that environmental oversight will be seriously weakened on Upton's watch:


An excerpt:


"But the rise of the "tea party" movement, with its attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency and climate science, has pushed Upton to reinvent himself. Once a moderate, Upton emerged from an unusually close primary against a tea party candidate and a tough fight for the panel chairmanship as the standard-bearer for the Republican push to block the Obama administration's major environmental initiatives.


Upton's about-face illustrates how the tea party and its wealthy supporters, among them the Koch brothers, have stymied environmental agendas for improving air quality and public health both in his district and nationwide. Under pressure from Upton, other Republicans and industry lobbyists, the administration has delayed or weakened several critical environmental regulations in recent months.


Though Upton remains unfailingly polite, he has gone on the attack, shepherding through the House a bill to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, he has removed the climate change language from his website, and plans to hold hearings reexamining the light bulb standard he had championed three years ago."


The story includes a reference to Michigan's environmental troubles, and includes comment from a few Michigan sources.


Spencer Abraham, a former U.S. senator from Michigan, said that whatever Upton's stance, however it has shifted, Upton has always done what he has believed to be right, and continues to do so.


But the Kalamazoo River is one of the biggest Superfund cleanup sites in the country, the story notes, Upton's district and the rest of the state have suffered serious air pollution, and Michigan is implementing a rule that would force many businesses to scrub mercury from their smokestacks — yet Upton has fought a similar EPA rule at the national level.


Kalamazoo'/s Jeff Spoelstra, coordinator of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council called Upton's southwestern Michigan's Congressional district " the poster child for why we need EPA..." and said "And here we are looking at dismantling and weakening EPA's capabilities?"


It's an interesting take on an important Michigan leader and the pressures that come to bear on elected officials.

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Shouldn't the Environmental Protection Agency be working against nuclear power and fracking? Wouldn't environmental protection be served by developing clean energy? Let's get right down to it. We ourselves are allowing the destruction of our world and we need to take responsibility for stopping it. Mr. Upton might be a cog, but we make the machine run.


From my perspective it looks like there is a game being played with the concept of Global Warming and the loser is all of humanity.

Edited by MightyMightyMezz
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