LCV, Public Campaign Action Fund Question Big Oil Bias of Rep. Upton as Joint Committee Appointee

Washington, D.C. — Today, the League of Conservation Voters and Public Campaign Action Fund criticized the selection of Big Oil ally Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to sit on the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction after repeatedly voting to keep wasteful oil subsidies in place.

"Congressman Upton has sided with Big Oil at every opportunity during the 112th Congress, voting to protect their unnecessary subsidies while working to block the EPA's ability to hold these corporate polluters accountable," said LCV President Gene Karpinski. "With the economic future of the nation hanging in the balance, we hope he will not let his loyal campaign contributors sway him from allowing these exorbitant taxpayer handouts to be ended once and for all."

"John Boehner's pick of Fred Upton to serve on the super committee is just a handout to Big Oil campaign donors," said Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund. "Upton has repeatedly opposed ending wasteful oil subsidies as oil company campaign cash came pouring in."

Rep. Upton received $127,000 from oil and gas interests in the 2010 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the first half of 2011, Upton received $25,000 from the political action committees of some of the country's largest oil companies, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of FEC data.

Just two weeks ago, Upton met with energy industry lobbyists and trade associations to talk about his plans to weaken the EPA.

Rep. Upton has voted six times this year to maintain costly subsidies to the nation's most profitable oil companies.*

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* [House Vote #313, 5/11/11; House Vote #293, 5/5/11; House Vote #277, 4/15/11; House Vote #274, 4/15/11; House Vote #153, 3/1/11; House Vote #109, 2/18/11]