Energy
2:01 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Chair of House Energy and Commerce Committee suggests cutting subsidies for oil and gas companies

Congressman Fred Upton says he’s in favor of getting rid of federal subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

He made the comments during a debate last Monday night in Kalamazoo. The debate was hosted by The Kalamazoo Gazette/Mlive.com and public radio station WMUK. You can hear the entire debate on their website.

During a discussion about renewable energy, Upton said the country “doesn’t need tax subsidies” for any energy companies.

Upton railed against President Obama’s investment in failed solar panel company Solyndra.

“We don’t need subsidies like this, particularly when the taxpayer losses every dime in their pocket. So I’m for putting all of these on an even footing. Let’s look at the oil and gas subsidies. Let’s taken them away. Let’s let them compete just like everyone else at the same level. We can do that with the tax code to take those special provisions away,” Upton said.

That’s a pretty big statement coming from Upton, because the long-serving Republican now chairs the powerful Energy and Commerce committee in the US House.

“Let’s let the real cost of it be out there and let them compete on a fair and level playing field,” Upton said. Upton said all energy industries – including renewable energy like wind and solar and more traditional sources – should have to “compete on their own”.

Upton has served in congress for 25 years.

US Marine and Democrat Mike O’Brien is challenging Upton in the November election.