Upton's agenda: Greener energy + fossil wish list

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s new chairman, Fred Upton, R-MI, was questioned today on his energy agenda for this Congress by National Journal editor Ron Brownstein, in the first of a planned series with new congressional leaders called, “Conversations with the Chair.”

AWEA was among the cosponsors of the event, held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. (The event may be watched online in its entirety at the National Journal Web site. For another interview with Mr. Upton the day before, see http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49034_Page2.html.

Questioned closely by Mr. Brownstein for a full hour, the chairman said he supports greener energy, thinks there ought to be incentives for it, and wants a cleaner energy standard for the United States. He appeared to crack the door for a national policy to achieve such a standard. And, he said reaching President Obama’s goal of putting a million electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015 will be tough, but “doable.”

At the same time, Mr. Upton also promoted fast-tracking nuclear plants; recycling nuclear waste and ultimately disposing of it at a designated waste site; proceeding with a pipeline from Canada to the U.S. for oil from tar sands; reducing targets for biofuels; and stepping up both onshore and offshore oil drilling, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He promised to grill Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson tomorrow about holding up permits for energy projects.

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