Feb. 6, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Environment Groups Firing Back

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The League of Conservation Voters recently ran $100,000 worth of radio spots in key Congressional districts, including that of Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, telling voters that their Member had voted “to block enforcement of a vital mercury pollution law.”

“The mercury vote exemplified how extreme this Congress will be,” said Navin Nayak, director of global warming programs at the League of Conservation Voters.

The league recently ran $100,000 worth of radio spots in key Congressional districts telling voters that their Member had voted “to block enforcement of a vital mercury pollution law.”

The spots ran in the districts of Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.) and GOP Reps. Tim Walberg (Mich.), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Lou Barletta (Pa.) and Fred Upton (Mich.), who is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Nayak said the group largely focused on districts that President Barack Obama won in 2008. The EDF ran its television ads on the mercury amendment that included the sonogram image in a number of markets that covered swing Congressional districts in suburban Philadelphia, New England, Ohio and Montana. It ran during programming often watched by women, including “Ellen,” “Oprah” and “The View.”

The Sierra Club, meanwhile, has been focused on the southwest Michigan district represented by Upton, holding events in Kalamazoo and running ads in the district.

“This is the new hot spot in our nation’s political map,” Pierce said.

While Pierce said Upton had a reputation as a moderate, he has lately followed the lead of the House Republican leadership regarding environmental regulations.

The conflict over environmental regulations was on display Tuesday in a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, which heard testimony from a panel of scientists over the validity of global warming research.

The hearing was held at the insistence of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee who was sharply critical of legislation that would bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. The measure is sponsored by Upton and Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a vocal critic of global warming.

The Democrats brought their props, piling up a stack of studies supporting the science behind climate change. And they sent a message to Upton by inviting Knute Nadelhoffer, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, who spoke of the deleterious effect of warming trends on the Great Lakes.

But the chairman of the subcommittee, Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), held up his own study on global warming and said that the EPA’s regulations would not solve the problem.

“There’s no question EPA’s rules are bad economic policy, but they may very well be bad environmental policy,” he said.

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