A Free-Market Energy Blog

Rep. Upton of Commerce and Energy: Is This the Real Deal?

By Glenn Schleede -- January 27, 2011

Some very rational words on energy policy–long needed–have come from Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. But will Congress act on them?

It will take a lot of heretofore undemonstrated courage for members of Congress to take the actions needed to:

1.  Convince the Washington Establishment* to recognize that central planning really hasn’t and doesn’t work.

2.  Get private sector companies to devote their financial and human resources to innovative and productive efforts rather than (like GE, Duke, Exelon, many Wall St firms, and many others) focusing those resources on “milking” federal and state tax breaks and subsidies.

3.  Break the hammerlock that Federal agencies officials and employees, their favorite constituencies (who benefit from our tax dollars), Congressional committees and staff, and lobbyists have on appropriations, credit programs, and tax policies.

4.  Give members of Congress and their staff the wisdom to discern the difference between facts vs. propaganda provided by lobbyists and federal agency staff — and then the courage to act in the national and public interest, rather than in their personal interests and those of the lobbyists that befriend them and contribute to their reelection.

5.  Act on principle rather than surrendering to the siren songs of “can’t we get along,” “avoid sharp discourse,” and “get things done.”  (Personally, I prefer candidates who would go to Washington and state capitals to get things “undone.” Have you noticed that a large majority of the problems we face today are the results of government action, not government reticence to act?)

At this point, I believe the Tea Party movement remains as the most promising development to keep us from “going over the cliff.”

Glenn Schleede

*Washington Establishment = All officials and employees in executive and legislative branches, including regulators; lobbyists and lawyer-lobbyists, power brokers.  Probably should include courts.


Upton Comments on President’s Address to Congress 


 – Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made the following statement in response to the President’s State of the Union Address to Congress:

“Innovation is a great American trait, a defining characteristic that can be seen in our entrepreneurial spirit and our ground-breaking industries and advancements.  Fostering innovation is a laudable national goal that knows no party boundaries.  As we pursue the policies of the future, we must follow the path defined by the desires of the American people.  All they want is an opportunity for work, less government intrusion in their daily lives, and for the federal government to stop spending money it does not have.

“Innovation is not measured in federal dollars spent or government mandates imposed.  Energy independence is not achieved through government dependence.  Congress spent tens of billions of dollars on the federal government’s favored energy sources in the stimulus, yet America remains dependent on hostile foreign nations to power our lives.  We know the answer is not to hyper-subsidize preferred industries or force consumers and job creators to purchase energy they cannot afford.  That is not how the free market works.

“Government cannot force the people to innovate, but if we can get government out of the way, American ingenuity will emerge every time.  We are home to the world’s best ideas and brightest minds.  We do not need a government takeover of health care to achieve affordable, patient-centered reforms.  We do not need a national energy tax to harness the power of all our resources to achieve energy independence.  This Republican Congress proudly embraces the ideals and opportunity of American entrepreneurship, and we will look to our core principles as we pursue policies that create jobs, reduce spending, and shrink the size and scope of the federal government in order to expand individual freedom.”


  1. Ed Reid  

    Right on, Glenn. We need to help enlighten and encourage.


  2. Dan  

    Before this deal becomes real, old Fred is going to have to be a lot louder


  3. Gerald Fisher  

    Donald Hertzmark’s Mar 2009 analysis of Pickens large truck proposal was based on the then USA NG production. The Marcellus shale has doubled NG production in 2010 and is on a rapidly increasing curve. Would Donald’s analysis change if the Marcellus increased production follows the curve for another 4 years ?


  4. Kate7  

    Read the following from http://greenhellblog.com/
    Today’s update on potential wimps and sellouts to watch:
    Rep. Fred Upton. As former Reagan administration official Herbert E. Meyer pointed out, “personnel is policy”:
    “Back in the Reagan Administration, we had a saying that always drew sneers from the press and from the Washington establishment: “Personnel is policy.” What we meant, of course, is that to execute the President’s policies it was necessary to hire officials who supported these policies, and who would work to achieve the President’s objectives rather than to undermine them.”
    Toward that end, the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has made a worrisome choice.
    Greenwire reported yesterday that Upton appointed one Michael Bloomquist to be deputy general counsel to the Committee. Bloomquist’s prior employment was with Wiley Rein, a lobbying firm. Click here to view a sample lobbying report.
    One of Bloomquist’s clients was America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), which Wiley Rein billed what looks to be about $360,000 during 2009-2010 for work on climate and renewable energy legislation. Although you might think that all fossil fuel companies would oppose legislation that demonizes and targets its unavoidable carbon emissions, ANGA thinks differently:
    • Although ANGA was unhappy with the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, its beef was that the bill didn’t sufficiently penalize coal users.
    • ANGA sucked up to Sens. Kerry and Boxer because they were more open to “promot[ing] natural gas as part of the climate solution.”
    • Ahead of the 2009 IPCC conference in Copenhagen, ANGA observed, “If policymakers in our nation’s Capital are serious about addressing climate change, they should encourage the increased use of… natural gas.”
    • ANGA was supportive but thought the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill inadequate;
    • ANGA cheered President Obama for pledging to reduce the federal government’s carbon footprint by 28 percent by 2020;
    • Last Earth Day, ANGA promoted “Clean Natural Gas for a Greener World Now.”
    • After Sen. Lindsey Graham bailed out of the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill, ANGA continued to support the efforts of Sens. Kerry and Lieberman.
    You probably get the idea by now — ANGA badly wants climate legislation, which it views as increasing the demand for natural gas, and Bloomquist was advocating on ANGA’s behalf.
    Now Bloomquist is working for Upton, who Republicans are relying on to end EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. There can be no doubt that Bloomquist’s former employer hopes Upton fails — and perhaps (certainly?) will lobbying toward that end. Then if (when?) President Obama designates natural gas as best available control technology (BACT) for electric power generation, ANGA will have succeeded beyond its wildest dreams as coal-fired power plants will then be forced to switch to natural gas on whatever schedule the EPA orders.


  5. Wilma Tays  

    Corporations exist for one reason: make profits! We need government control over business, unless you want to exploit the population and do away with the middle class. Look at the energy that is used daily by our military in the middle East. We could bring all of our military home and save millions and millions gallons os gas


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