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For Immediate Release:

December 7, 2010

Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384

Fred Upton Named House Energy and Commerce Chairman

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) was named chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

“Rep. Upton fought hard and won this post.  We believe he has historically taken reasoned positions, embracing what the American consensus believes – that we need to move toward a clean energy economy to create more jobs, less pollution, and greater national security.

We hope that, in this important post and in the face of pressure from corporate special interests and his own party, Rep. Upton will continue to stand up for the principles he's supported throughout his congressional tenure – reducing pollution, allowing the EPA to do its job of protecting Americans’ health, and increasing clean energy production.

However, we are concerned by recent comments from Rep. Upton that are inconsistent with these principles – for example, calling for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, opposing tax credits for renewable energy projects, and even flip-flopping on more efficient light bulbs – to appease dirty energy corporations and the most extreme voices in his party.”

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  • Rep. Upton voted yes on the New Direction for Energy Independence Act that moved the U.S. toward greater energy independence by reducing carbon emissions, incentivizing the development innovative new technologies, creating clean energy jobs and increasing clean renewable energy production. [H.R. 3221, Roll Call 832, Aug. 4, 2007]
  • Rep. Upton told the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment that it’s time to address climate change. “I have said at nearly every climate change hearing that for me I don't dispute the science. Right or wrong, the debate over the modeling and science appears to be over. We have got to get past that and look at our policy options and consequences of the actions that we need to take to address that issue.” [Hearing on “The Climate Crisis: National Security, Public Health, and Economic Threats,” Feb. 12, 2009]
  • Rep. Upton consistently voted in favor of protecting federal land from drilling, including areas such as the Great Lakes and Florida. [H.R. 2311, Roll Call 203, Amdt. 127, June 28, 2001; H.R. 2217, Roll Call 181, Amdt. 107, June 21, 2001
  • Rep. Upton voted to allow the EPA to do its job of protecting public health – going against his party’s position. In 1995, Upton voted to allow the EPA to enforce the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other public interest laws against his own party’s majority position. [H.R. 2099, Roll Call 599, July 28, 1995]

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