Down With Upton

Wake Upton UP!

sign the petitionMessage to Fred Upton, Chairman, U. S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee:
Stop blocking renewable energy initiatives. Stop favoring dirty energy. Your committee needs a chairman who will help lead the nation's transition to CLEAN energy!

Fred Upton's leadership failure

As a responsible citizen of the Earth and as chairman of the committee on energy and commerce, Fred Upton should be a leader in the nation's and the planet's transition from dirty energy to clean.

How has Upton handled his committee and his leadership role?

On his website, Fred Upton says he supports an “all of the above” energy policy. The first three paragraphs of his policy statement promote fossil fuels—the "production of game-changing oil and natural gas reserves," and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and more like it. His record shows that when he says "all of the above" he means all except clean renewable energy.
no solar
For Fred Upton, "all of the above"
does not include clean energy.

Our petition's request:

"Please stop pushing outdated big-oil energy solutions. As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, you should be one of the nation’s strongest advocates for the business of researching, developing, and producing green energy, not black. If you can't take on that role, please retire."
please sign the petition
Down with Upton

Representative Fred Upton's Contact Information

Upton keeps his email address private.

Use this contact form to send him a message. To get to the form, you must first enter your 9-digit ZIP. If you live outside Michigan's 6th District, you won't be able to use the form.

At this link, you can send Representative Upton a message telling him to become a clean-energy leader or retire.

Mailing addresses and phone numbers:

Kalamazoo, MI, office:
157 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 180
Kalamazoo, MI  49007
Phone: (269) 385-0039
Fax: (269) 385-2888

St. Joseph, MI, office:
800 Centre, Suite 106
800 Ship Street
St. Joseph, MI  49085
Phone: (269) 982-1986
Fax: (269) 982-0237

Washington, DC, office:
2183 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC  20515
Phone: (202) 225-3761
Fax: (202) 225-4986

Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-2927
Fax (202) 225-1919

House Energy and Commerce Committee website.

Representative Upton's website

What can we do about Fred Upton's leadership failure?

ONE - Use the petition to send a message to Upton and to LET HIS CONSTITUENTS KNOW about his policies.

MoveOn.org is sponsoring a petition asking Upton to either take a leadership role in the nation’s and the planet’s all-important transition from dirty energy to clean, or else retire. Please sign the petition. Please share and promote the petition.

TWO - Spread the word. Use links to the petition and to this page to get the information to the voting public.

The petition's most important purpose is to spread the word. Use every way you can think of to spread the word about Upton's policies and his leadership failure.

THREE - Contact Fred Upton directly.

Upton's contact information is on the right. Tell him:

What will this petition accomplish?

How likely is it that a few thousand names on a petition will lead Upton to rethink his policies? What's the chance of him changing his ways and deciding that, yes, his Energy and Commerce Committee should promote renewable energy commerce and not exclusively serve the fossil fuel business? If Upton decides he can't include encouraging the growth and development of clean energy sources in his so-called "all of the above" policy, would he really retire, as the petition asks?

To be realistic, we have to admit that the chance of Upton reacting to our petition the way we want is pretty slim. So what's the point?

Sharing and promoting this petition can help inform those who remember a more reasonable Fred Upton.

Many still remember the Fred Upton from several years ago. subsidies

What happened? What made Upton change?

Upton, of course—like his colleagues and predecessors—has always voted in favor of the annual multi-billion-dollar federal subsidy to the fossil fuel industry. That hasn't changed. Upton's promotion was what changed him. On January 2, 2010, immediately after he took charge of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Chris Wallace interviewed  Upton for Fox News (video and complete transcript available here).
Wallace: In the article that you co-wrote with the head of Americans for Prosperity, which is a group that is financed in part by oil companies, you say this: "This presumes that carbon is a problem in need of regulation. We are not convinced." But...on your congressional website...you say, "I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions. Climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions." So, question: Is carbon a problem or isn't it? And if it is, if you're going to kill the EPA regulation, what is your solution?

Upton: We want to do this in a reasonable way. Before the end of the next decade, our country is going to need 30 to 40 more percent more electricity that we use today. So we need an all-of-the-above strategy. We need clean coal. We need natural gas. We need nuclear—something that has not happened. We need a whole host of things.

Wallace: Do we need to regulate carbon?

Upton: I don't think that we have to regulate carbon to the degree we have a carbon tax or you have a cap-and-trade system. And the House spoke pretty loudly—you know, you take that same cap-and-trade bill that passed the House last year. Today it would lose by 50 votes and it could never come up in the Senate. This is not—this regulation process—is not the way to proceed.
The interview included no mention of renewable energy. The next day, the statement Wallace called him on vanished from Upton's website. Upton's energy committee chairmanship changed his mind. He no longer believed "that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions," or that "climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions." Suddenly "all of the above" didn't mean all of the above anymore. Upton was now "[unconvinced] that carbon is a problem in need of regulation."

Upton was LA Times #1 enemy of the Earth for 2011
At the end of his first year as Chairman of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, the Los Angeles Times named Upton "Congress' #1 Enemy of the Earth" for 2011. Here's what the article said:
"As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton is the gatekeeper for many of the disastrous anti-environment bills that have been approved or proposed in the House this year. Ironically, he was once known among his state's conservatives as 'Red Fred' because of a somewhat pro-environment voting record, but a recent electoral challenge from his right changed all that. Because of his powerful position and newfound disdain for green regulation, he represents one of the biggest threats to planet Earth on planet Earth."
After his first full year as Chairman of the house Energy and Commerce Committee, the Los Angeles Times placed Upton at #1 on its list of "Congress' biggest enemies of the Earth" for 2011. The article pointed out that Upton "was once known among his state's conservatives as 'Red Fred' because of a somewhat pro-environment voting record, but a recent electoral challenge from his right changed all that."

But when the Los Angeles Times blamed a “recent electoral challenge from his right” for Upton's change of heart—which Mother Jones called his “climate changeup”—the Times may have overlooked one fact that's an important part of the story: The chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committe is a position that attracts a lot of attention from lobbyists representing the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industry.

Aubrey McLendonDuring the 2007-08 election cycle, before Upton won his chairmanship, Koch Industries was tied for fifth among Upton's donors with $35,000 in total support according to Open Secrets. Koch Industries is now Upton's second-favorite helper, providing $60,000 in total support thus far (subject to periodic updates) with the elections still three months away.

Cheapeake Energy, one of the nation's most aggressive and sometimes illegal frackers, was a top ten contributor to Upton's 2012 re-election campaign. Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon (right), who in 2008 was the highest-paid CEO of any Fortune 500 company, recently left Chesapeake and started his own fracking outfit, American Energy Partners, spending $4.25 billion on drilling rights from West Virginia to West Texas. An Upton cousin is McLendon's wife.

Our petition CAN make a difference

Sharing and promoting this petition can help tell voters about Upton's change. Many who remember the Fred Upton of several years ago may not be aware that he's not that Fred Upton anymore.

A large group publicly presenting this petition to Fred Upton in the midst of his next election campaign, with media watching and cameras rolling, could help make voters more aware of Upton's changes. It could help swing the election and force Upton's retirement.
please sign the petition
Please sign the petition! Tell Fred Upton to help lead the transition to clean energy.

Thank you!

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The Kalamazoo River Enbridge Disaster

On the evening of Monday, July 26, 2010, the Enbridge 6B, a pipeline about three feet in diameter embedded in the Kalamazoo River, ruptured near Marshall, Michigan, 15 miles upstream from Battle Creek and about 35 miles from Kalamazoo. The pipeline operators, misinterpreting the alarms and thinking they needed to force a bubble through the line, increased the pressure. For about twelve hours, oil flowed into the Kalamazoo River through the six-foot tear in the pipeline.
examination of pipeline break
National Transportation Safety Board photo. Photos below: MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette.
When the flow finally stopped, the biggest inland oil catastrophe in US history was well on its way into Fred Upton's home district.
river cleanup
Original estimates put the leak at about 800,000 gallons and the cleanup cost at about two million dollars. Consensus now says the spill was well over a million gallons. Four years later, the cleanup isn't finished. Enbridge will end up paying more than a billion dollars to clean up the mess.
dredging
In the first few days of the tragedy, dangerously high levels of airborne benzene prompted Calhoun County health officials to order the evacuation of about 50 homes. For a time, the cleanup work closed a 35-mile section of the Kalamazoo River. Residents of the town of Ceresco lost a battle to save their dam, which had served the town for 174 years and had became the centerpiece of the town's identity. The contaminated dam hindered the river's restoration.
dam removal
demonstration
Says Upton, "We are going to need to build dozens of new oil and natural gas pipelines and transmission lines over the next decade."
dredging
During the four years and counting that the Environmental Protection Agency has been overseeing the cleanup of the spill, which affected Fred Upton's home district, Upton has continued his five-year battle to undermine the EPA.
spill

Even if you're not convinced that global warming is a serious problem, you still have reason to sign, share, and promote this petition.

broken pipelinefracking pollutes drinking waterclean energy
If you are in favor of conservation, a clean environment, and protecting public land from fracking, drilling, and pipelining, Fred Upton and his so-called "all of the above" energy policy clearly disagrees with you.

Some say, "Conservation would cost too much. Energy prices would go up."

Energy prices certainly could rise if Upton's so-called "all of the above" energy policy included renewable-energy incentives and initiatives. But energy prices have risen steadily for decades. And no matter how high the price, we've always paid. We worry about inflation and the economy, but we pay, the economy quickly adjusts, and we move on.

Federal fossil-fuel subsidies have artificially kept our energy prices lower than Europe's for decades. Europeans generally pay two to four times as much as we do for gas, and they still drive. Taking half the federal fossil-fuel subsidy and applying it instead to researching, developing, producing, and delivering clean energy can make the price increase for using renewables no worse than any other increase we've handled over the past several decades.

Moreover, the cost of conservation is not truly related to the price of energy. As the New Economic Perspectives website points out, in a recent article entitled "Cost" & Confusion:
If we came to our senses, however, and removed our soot coated “cost goggles”, we’d see the most obvious and simple thing: The $510 billion the IPCC suggests must be spent annually to invent and build carbon-zero infrastructure and energy systems—that money gets paid to somebody in exchange for the doing and the inventing and the building. Who would that be that it gets paid to? Well, it might be you if you got busy and positioned yourself as someone who could usefully contribute in some way to the effort. To say that the “cost” of climate mitigation is .06% of global GDP annually is no different than saying the “cost” of pizza is .06% of global GDP. “Cost”—by the simple logic of accounting—is actually something we, the people, get paid—just like people get paid to make pizza.
please sign the petitionThe cost of conservation—the cost of anything—is paid both by and to. A change in cash flow direction would be the only real economic effect of stronger conservation measures.

Please consider the non-financial costs—the cost to the environment, the cost to communities and to people—if the U.S. continues Upton's policy of full-blast fracking, drilling, and pipelining offshore and on public land.
Please help demolish Upton’s so-called “all of the above” energy policy and its “new architecture of abundance.”
Germany recently announced a new record, a day when 74% of the energy used nationwide came from renewable sources. The technology is available. The USA could do that too. But not if Fred Upton keeps holding us back.

Please sign the petition.

How you can join the WakeUPton campaign

Thanks for asking!

Use this contact form to send a message to US Representative Fred Upton (R, MI-6).

To go to the form, you must first enter your 9-digit ZIP. If you don't live in Michigan's Sixth Congressional District, you won't be able to use the form.
Upton keeps his email address private.

At this link, you can send Representative Upton a message telling him to become a clean-energy leader or retire.

please sign the petition
(go back to top of page)
Down with Upton
Established June, 2014.
The Down with Upton campaign is not a fundraiser and is not associated with or a subsidiary of any other organization, group, company, or individual except me. I don’t expect that to change, but if it does I will update this notification. I take full and sole responsibility for the contents of this page and I’m not copyrighting any of it. You can use any or all of this content as long as you promise to (1) use it against Fred Upton to the best of your ability and (2) attach this stipulation to it. You’re also free to share it with anyone else who makes these same promises.
— Bruce Brown —
Follow @AcieBrucie