Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) has an oped in Investors Business Daily today attacking environmental groups for any number of things, including using hyperbole to "motivate" environmental donors. While "keeping kids from getting asthma" may indeed motivate donors, I wouldn't say it's an exxageration or scare tactic. Upton, though, does seem to know a thing or two about motivating donors if his rightward shift on energy issues is any signal.
As ThinkProgress reported last year, Upton went from agreeing that "Climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions" in early 2009 to "This presumes that carbon is a problem in need of regulation. We are not convinced" in 2010.
At the same time, Upton saw a dramatic increase in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests, according to our analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Upton and his leadership political action committee (PAC) received $127,950 in campaign contributions from oil and gas company interests in the 2010 cycle, an increase of 60 percent from his 2008 contributions. So far in 2011, Upton has received thousands from oil and gas interests, including $5,000 from Exxon PAC and $2,500 from Koch Industries PAC.
Attacking public interest groups in the pages of a newspaper read by wealthy could-be donors might be good politics, but it's not going to address our country's energy future.