Before Republican Michigan Rep. Fred Upton suddenly abandoned his stance that climate change is a "serious problem" to say instead that regulating carbon emissions would be an "unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs"—it turns out that before he changed his mind, he was holding secret meetings with energy lobbyists. From Politico:
With the backing of GOP caucus leaders, aides for House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) are seeking unwavering support from a host of industries for an all-out push to block federal and state climate rules.
On Tuesday, a meeting was held in secret, with an invitation-only guest list that is being tightly guarded. But among those thought to have attended, Politico reports, are: the American Petroleum Institute, National Mining Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and others.
Local constituents are surprised at Upton's change of heart, too. WKZO noted it's more than just federal regulation of carbon emissions:
Cindy Roper at Clean Water Action says given the Enbridge Oil Spill so close to Upton's district, they had hoped they might pursue tighter restrictions on pipeline operations. Instead Upton is backing the construction of a new Pipeline from the Oil Shale fields of Canada to Texas.
Upton issued a written response, the congressman saying that he hasn't forgotten about the Enbridge spill and will pursue meaningful regulation.
Upton is now planning to introduce a bill to block the EPA's ability to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act.
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