Friday, December 04, 2015

Fred Upton Delivered Big Time For Big Energy Special Interests


There aren't worst Big Energy whores in Congress than Fred Upton and Joe "Oily Joe" Barton

Our old nemesis-- and by "our" I mean planet Earth's, the L.A. Times explaining that his "disdain for green regulation, he represents one of the biggest threats to planet Earth on planet Earth"-- got his energy bill passed yesterday. Upton's H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, passed the House 249-174, only 3 Republicans (libertarian leaning GOPers Justin Amash, Walter Jones and Thomas Massie) voting against it... although 9 worthless DINOs crossed the aisle in the other direction-- as they always do-- and voted with the GOP:
Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Gwen Graham (Blue Dog-FL)
Gene Green ($1,221,738-TX)
Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ)
Ann Kuster (New Dem-NH)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)
If it passes the Senate-- unlikely-- President Obama has promised to veto it. It was known around Capitol Hill as Fred Upton and Global Warming Denier's Corporate Energy Bill. Pennsylvania progressive Democrat Matt Cartwright, who offered a motion to recommit, predicted that Upton and the Republican climate change deniers would go down in history as the "greatest ignoramuses of all time... Sticking our heads in the sand, pretending a serious problem will go away on its own, doing nothing in the face of a grave threat, is not the American way, and it never was."

The League of Conservation Voters urged all Members of Congress to vote no because Upton's bill "further entrenches fossil fuels while failing to make the necessary clean energy investments for our future" and included a provision "that would allow pipelines to be built on National Park land without the necessary environmental reviews... This bill contains an efficiency title that would increase energy use and costs to consumers, a hydropower title that curtails NEPA review along with state, local, and tribal authority over projects on their own lands, and provisions that could lock in dirty fossil energy for decades to come at a time that we should be investing in cleaner, cheaper alternatives." They also asked congressmembers to reject Joe "Oily Joe" Barton's amendment "that would lift the crude oil export ban. This provision is a massive giveaway to the oil industry and would be on top of billions in existing permanent tax subsidies. Multiple analyses show that lifting the crude oil export ban would increase oil production by at least 500,000 barrels per day, leading to more climate pollution and more drilling on our public lands, in the Arctic, and off our coasts."

Frank Pallone is the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and he took to the floor of the House to warn that Upton's lobbyist-written bill meant bad news for "the environment, on air pollution and on climate change" and offered an amendment to prevent the bill from becoming law until the Energy Information Administration had analyzed the impact and scored its carbon impact. That was voted down 181-243, a little closer because 4 Republicans (2 from districts in Florida already being impacted by rising oceans) voted with the Democrats, while only 4 (instead of 9) hardcore energy industry whores among the Democrats-- Costa, Peterson, Schrader and, Washington state New Dem Rick Larsen-- voted with the Republicans.

The bill is also a national security threat inasmuch as it lifts the ban on selling U.S. crude oil overseas, something the oil companies heavily bribed Upton and Joe Barton to include. Since 1990 Upton has taken $2,494,518 from energy special interests, more than any other current members of the House other than Joe "Oily Joe" Barton (R-TX) and Steve Pearce (R-NM), formerly an oilfield services company owner himself. This current cycle has seen the Energy Sector step up to the plate for Upton again, his $282,650 (so far) being second only to Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's $292,550.

The Democrat in southwest Michigan opposing Upton and his Big Oil Machine is professor and environmental activist Paul Clements (you can help him win here) who told us right after the vote that "Congressman Upton is one of the top ten recipients of campaign contributions from Big Oil in the House and Senate combined. With H.R. 8 he once again increases profits for carbon polluters, raises costs for consumers, and undermines environmental protections. We need to quit subsidizing the energy of the past and take the lead in energy for the future."

So who got the biggest payoffs so far this cycle from the Energy Sector? No surprises here; these are the dirty dozen, polluting the earth to pad their campaign war chests this year:
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $292,550
Fred Upton (R-MI)- $282,650
Steve Scalise (R-LA)- $258,550
Charles "Lord Charles" Boustany (R-LA)- $196,750
Ed Whitfield (R-KY)- $159,600
Bill Shuster (R-PA)- $156,700
John Shimkus (R-IL)- $144,500
Joe "Oily Joe" Barton (R-TX)- $143,650
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $133,400
Greg Walden (R-OR)- $129,800
Will Hurd (R-TX)- $125,400
Bill Flores (R-TX)- $124,859

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