Examiner Editorial: Upton is wrong choice for Energy and Commerce

Washington Examiner

If nothing else, Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton has a lot of nerve to campaign to succeed California Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton is wholly unsuitable for the job, as a stroll down Memory Lane quickly reminds us:

» Upton was one of only 34 House Republicans to support the Democrats’ Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 that removed millions of acres of federal lands from oil and gas leasing, thus helping drive up energy costs for consumers.

» Upton was one of 29 House Republicans to support creation of the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. This empowered federal bureaucrats to impose strict zoning and land-use rules and made it more difficult for the U.S. Border Patrol to do its job in blocking illegal immigration through federal wilderness areas.

» Upton was one of 20 Republicans to vote against an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Jordan that would have reduced the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 funding to 2008 levels.

» Upton was one of nine House GOPers who voted against Rep. Dave Camp’s substitute amendment to the $787 billion Obama-Pelosi economic stimulus bill in March 2009. The Camp amendment would have substituted a GOP stimulus alternative made up primarily of new tax cuts for individuals and business.

» Upton was one of 16 GOPers to support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2009 omnibus spending bill that included an 8.4 percent spending increase over and above the stimulus package, as well as $7.7 billion in earmarks. The measure also canceled the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program for 1,900 students in the nation’s capital.

» Upton voted for TARP three times, twice during the Bush administration and once in the Obama administration.

At a time when creating millions of new jobs is essential if we are to get the economy growing, House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner should do whatever is necessary to ensure that a genuine conservative become chairman of the committee. This committee will have oversight authority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which President Obama hopes to use to impose a cap-and-trade energy policy despite the fact that it failed to gain congressional approval because of fierce public opposition. Upton’s claims of being a Reaganite notwithstanding, there is nothing in his voting record to suggest he would be an aggressive opponent of Obama’s plan to impose cap-and-trade through regulation.

Maybe that’s why Upton appears to be the Democrats’ favorite Republican to succeed Waxman, as indicated recently by “McLaughlin Group” liberal panelist Eleanor Clift. When asked about Republicans re-taking the House, Clift said: “Well, there are some there, like Fred Upton … who is a moderate Republican, and I don’t think Democrats would have any great issue with him. They would probably applaud his chairmanship.” Boehner should make sure they get no such opportunity.

H/T Instapundit: Given that Upton is the author of the asinine incandescent lightbulb ban, I don’t even think he should be seated . . . .

Update: At Politico, Conservatives burn over Fred Upton’s light bulb law

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