Under the new chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, a “key issues” paper published Jan. 18, notes the panel opposes renewable energy mandates and aims to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing global warming regulations. The chair, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), has a reputation for promoting job development. Upton calls what’s commonly known as a “cap-and-trade” system, “cap-and-tax.” Upton appointed Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) to chair the Subcommittee on Energy & Power. Whitfield notes he’s pro-coal power and pro-alternative fuel development. “Although governments have important roles to play in facilitating development of alternative energy, we oppose energy technology mandates that must be met regardless of cost,” noted the committee. Calling EPA regulation a “chokehold,” the paper stated, “We believe it critical that the Obama Administration stop imposing its new global warming regulatory regime, which will undermine economic growth and U.S. competitiveness for no significant environmental benefits.” The committee also noted that the federal government “shirked” its obligation to build a high-level radioactive waste facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Waste from California nuclear plants was set to be shipped to that repository, but it was not built.