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Activists present Upton with ‘prize’ basket

Published 10:50pm Thursday, March 24, 2011

COLOMA — A group of Greenpeace and Western Michigan University student environmental activists got creative in their opposition of Rep. Fred Upton’s stance on the Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Photo submitted Western Michigan University and Greenpeace activists confront U.S. Rep. Fred Upton.
Photo submitted Western Michigan University and Greenpeace activists confront U.S. Rep. Fred Upton.

As Upton arrived at Coloma Township Hall Thursday for a stop on the third day of his listening tour, the students presented him with a sarcastic “prize basket” for his sponsorship of a bill that would prevent the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
According to a press release sent to the Star by Joe Smyth of the Greenpeace organization, the basket included “gourmet candy coal, an oil rig home decor candle, Soothing Sounds of Dirty Industry music CD and multi-use massage and motor oil.”

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton's "prize basket"
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton's "prize basket"

Greenpeace is an independent environmental lobbying organization.
The release said Upton, R-Mich., was selected as the winner of PolluterHarmony’s contest for “coziest relationship of a politician with dirty energy lobbyists.”
Polluterharmony.com is a spoof dating website described as the “No. 1 matchmaking site for polluters, industry lobbyists and politicians.” The site launched an online competition last month to highlight polluting industry lobbyists’ role in attacking environmental and health protections like the Clean Air Act.
At his stop in Niles Wednesday, Upton was questioned on his sponsorship of the bill. Upton defended it by saying Congress should determine regulations, not the EPA. He also argued that allowing EPA regulation would mean the loss of thousands of jobs and a serious hit to business and industry.
“PolluterHarmony congratulates Chairman Upton on his long, fruitful and loving relationship with some of the United States’ most powerful corporate polluters,” said Kert Davies, Greenpeace research director. “Like many of his colleagues in the 2011 Congress, Upton is embracing the interests of corporate polluters instead of the voters who put him in office. We hope Chairman Upton and his polluter lobbyist friends enjoy the goodies he won, while the people of Michigan are rewarded with weaker environmental protections pushed by Chairman Upton’s committee.”

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