Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is hearing it back home. The Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has embarked on a listening tour this week and it seems the voters in his district have plenty to say when it comes to Upton’s environmental positions. Making matters hairier for Upton is that fact he was lampooned on Thursday morning for having such close ties to fossil fuel lobbyists.
At one of Upton's listening tour stops, Greenpeace organizer Paul Wojoski, presented a prize basket to Upton for winning PolluterHarmony’s “contest” for having the “coziest relationship in Washington with dirty energy lobbyists.” Upton, as you can see in this infographic, loves money from the fossil fuel industry. The picture above is of Upton awkwardly accepting the gift basket from Wojoski, which contained gourmet candy coal, an oil rig home décor candle, “Soothing Sounds of Dirty Industry" music CD and multiuse massage and motor oil (full list of goodies here). Leave it to Greenpeace to get creative when it comes to this sort of stuff.
P-Harmony is a campaign that takes a humorous view on the very serious issue of relationships between lobbyists and politicians. Several P-Harmony “commercials” are now posted online. All are “mockumentary” style commercials based on E-Harmony commercials. Essentially, P-Harmony is an online meeting place for polluter lobbyists and politicians. And as if the focus on Upton with the gift basket wasn’t enough, the P-Harmony commercial (posted below) is airing throughout Upton’s district thanks to a local media buy, according to Greenpeace.
This embarrassment comes after those “listening tours” earlier in the week, which like the P-Harmony commercials, were a little uncomfortable to watch at times. Upton didn’t always respond to the comments of those in attendance, but he did take time to defend his support of a bill that calls for stripping the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and refineries. “It doesn't undermine the Clean Air Act," Upton said of his bill. "We won't let them regulate what they can't legislate." Another constituent asked why Upton would ignore the 62 percent of voters in his district that oppose Upton’s anti-environment positions.