Politics
2:34 pm
Wed January 5, 2011

Did Fred Upton move right to secure committee chairmanship?

The new Congress gets started today in Washington D.C. and Michigan's 6th District Representative, Fred Upton, will chair a congressional committee with broad powers.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce oversees a wide range of issues:

  • energy
  • telecommunications
  • consumer protection
  • food and drug safety
  • public health
  • air quality and environmental health
  • interstate and foreign commerce

Fred Upton is kicking off his chairmanship by targeting the EPA's goal to limit carbon emissions that have lead to global warming.

On December 28th, Upton co-authored an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal titled How Can Congress Stop the EPA's Power Grab with Tim Phillips, president of the American's for Prosperity (a conservative group funded by oil interests).

In the piece Upton and Phillips write:

On Jan. 2, the Environmental Protection Agency will officially begin regulating the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This move represents an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs—unless Congress steps in.

In the past, Upton was seen as a moderate on climate change. A Mother Jones article highlights Upton's shift saying Upton has changed his views on climate change in an effort to win the committee chairmanship.

The Mother Jones article says Upton was challenged about his apparent change of position by Chris Wallace of Fox News. Citing the Wall Street Journal opinion piece in which Upton says he's "not convinced" that carbon is a problem in need of regulation, Wallace asked:

But we checked, Congressman, on your congressional web site, and you say on the web site, "I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions. Climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions." So question, is carbon a problem or isn't it? And if it is, if you're going to kill the EPA regulation, what is your solution?

Upton responded saying regulating carbon is not the way to proceed.

Here's the interview:

The quote that Chris Wallace was referring to has apparently been removed from Upton's website.

Upton also made news recently for declaring that he, along with other republicans, plan to repeal the new health care law.