Will 2016 Mark The End Of Fred Upton's Destruction Of Planet Earth-- That's Up To Michigan Voters
When Earth Day rolls around and you're running against an incumbent who's been named "Earth's No. 1 enemy in Congressman," you remind your district's voters why. Environmental champion Paul Clements is up against hereditary multimillionaire and forever Congressman Fred Upton (the enemy of the planet, year after year after year, not just because of his votes but because of what he prevents, as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, from being dealt with by Congress-- like Climate Change.
But Paul reminded Southwest Michigan voters that "it's not just enough to beat Congressman Upton, we must have a vision for what to do next." In a twitter storm and in a letter to voters, he laid out a set of priorities he hopes to accomplish when he replaces Upton in Congress. The district leans Republican but Obama beat McCain there in 2008 by a convincing 53-45%. Hometown hero Mitt Romney edged Obama by a few votes 4 years later (50-49%). Last cycle, a relatively unknown first-time candidate, Paul held Upton down to a 55.89% win. (He had no help from the DCCC and so far isn't getting any help from them this cycle either.) His priorities for dealing with environmental issues:
• Work to end loopholes dirty energy companies have written into clean air and clean water laws"Addressing the threat of climate change is a moral imperative, he wrote. "And the choice we make for our representatives in Congress matters." Upton wrote too. He told Michigan voters that "I don't think we have to regulate carbon." His allies agree. The Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and executives from oil and gas companies from the entire industry have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Upton's political career, especially since he's gotten control of the House's energy agenda. The Oil and Gas sector has bribed Upton to the tune of $890,900. So far this cycle, they've made their love and appreciation clear:
• Work to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to make it harder for dangerous chemicals to get to our water
• Stand with the President's goal of making buildings 20% more efficient by 2020
• Treat every day as though it is Earth Day
This was the statement from the Sierra Club last cycle on why they endorsed Paul Clements over Upton:
“The Sierra Club supports Paul Clements because he is a climate champion, and that’s the kind of leader we need representing Michigan’s 6th District,” said Mike Berkowitz, Political and Legislative Director for the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “From extreme flooding to extreme droughts, dealing with the effects of climate disruption costs our nation billions of dollars every year. Paul Clements is ready to take climate action now, while Fred Uptons sits on his hands, gives big breaks to polluters and takes big campaign handouts from oil and gas companies.”
Southwest Michigan has benefitted from clean energy growth and expansion in the state. But the southwest corridor of the state has also endured one of the worst and most costly oil spills in U.S. history at the hands of Enbridge Energy, which gushed more than one million gallons of heavy crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010, putting local drinking water at risk. Federal and state agencies are still cleaning up the Kalamazoo River from the Enbridge spill four years later.
“Paul Clements understands that clean water and clean air are great resources that shouldn’t be sacrificed for polluter profits,” said Richard Barron, Political Chair of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “We are still cleaning up from Enbridge’s crude oil spill but meanwhile in DC, Fred Upton has been fast tracking legislation to approve the dangerous Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, putting even more people at risk of water contamination from catastrophes.”
Paul Clements has been an outspoken activist on the need to mitigate climate disruption, chairing Western Michigan University’s faculty workgroup on Climate Change and authoring a chapter on “The Ethics and Politics of Climate Change” in his book Rawlsian Political Analysis: Rethinking the Microfoundations of Social Science.
Please consider contributing to Paul Clements' grassroots campaign here so he can compete against the flood of Big Oil and Gas money behind Upton. And, remember, the DCCC has again refused to give him any assistance and seems to be perfectly content to allow Upton to keep the swing district seat forever. Please click the thermometer to get the the Blue America ActBlue page where you can contribute to Paul's campaign.
“Climate disruption will affect every aspect of our economy and our lives,” said Charlie Stefanac, a Sierra Club activist from Kalamazoo in the 6th Congressional District. “Paul Clements understands the importance and urgency of taking climate action now by supporting vital carbon standards on coal-burning power plants and expanding clean energy in Michigan and across the United States.”