Since assuming the chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Upton’s actions — such as promoting policies that hurt Michigan families or pandering to a big donor at a House hearing on air pollution — illustrate that he is prioritizing special interests’ profits over the well-being of his own constituents.
In looking over the contributions he has received so far this year, I couldn’t help wondering whether the overwhelming contributions from special interests were affecting his judgment:
- Of the $350,000 he’s received so far this year, roughly 80% came from PACs (only two of which are from Michigan).
- In fact, less than 10% of his contributions come directly from his constituents.
A glance at the list of contributors illustrates his ongoing popularity with the oil, coal and gas industries (which falls under Rep. Upton’s committee jurisdiction):
- $2,500 from Koch Industries PAC (some background on their environmental track record here )
- $5,000 from Exxon Mobil PAC
- $12,000 from DTE Energy staff and PAC (DTE is being sued by the EPA for violating the Clean Air Act)
- $3,000 from National Mining Association’s COALPAC
- $2,000 from National Mining Association’s MINEPAC
- $5,000 from Alpha Natural Resources PAC (Alpha Natural Resources is a major coal production company)
- $5,000 from Peabody Energy Corp. PAC (world’s largest publicly held coal company. Read an interesting bio on Peabody’s CEO from RollingStone )
- $2,500 from Arch Coal Inc. PAC (Arch Coal is the second largest U.S. coal producer)
- $2,500 from Patriot Coal Company PAC
It’s interesting to note that there are no coal mines in Rep. Upton’s district, but he receives substantial donations from mining companies and is promoting policies that help them.
Rep Upton, shouldn’t you explain how your policies are protecting the people of Michigan, not supporting dirty energy polluters?