FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, July 13, 2010
CONTACT: Leigh Fifelski (517) 999-3646

Hoekstra Champions Big Oil, Snubs Local Working Families, Local Jobs

LANSING – President Obama’s visit to Holland on Thursday to break ground on a cutting-edge advanced battery plant shines a spotlight on the fact that Pete Hoekstra – the local congressman – refused to support the very plan that will create 400 Holland jobs, citizens group Progress Michigan said.

Progress Michigan also brought attention to Hoekstra’s record of taking thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Big Oil while refusing to vote in support of measures that are now creating local jobs in clean energy and supporting West Michigan families.

“President Obama’s visit to Holland celebrates new good-paying local jobs in the new energy economy – jobs for working families that Pete Hoekstra turned his back on,” Progress Michigan Executive Director David Holtz said today. “Time and time again, Pete Hoekstra has said ‘no’ to Michigan jobs and clean energy, and ‘yes’ to Big Oil, even if it puts Michigan’s economy and local jobs at risk. Pete Hoekstra owes an explanation to the people of Holland and he needs to tell them how he could vote against something that is putting Holland back to work and moving the region forward.”

Hoekstra repeatedly refused to vote in support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that is helping build the new LG Chem advanced auto battery plant in Holland through a $151-million federal grant. The $300-million plant is putting people back to work, and is on track to employ 400 people by 2013. When fully operational in 2012, the LG Chem plant in Holland will produce up to 200,000 lithium ion battery packs for the GM Volt and other auto makers.

Despite his repeated refusal to support the ARRA during House votes, Hoekstra still Twittered in praise of the ARRA’s “generous” support for ordinary Michigan families: “If you know of someone thinking of buying first home, now may be the time.Stimulus incentive is very generous!Up to 8k!Check it out.” [The Hill’s Brief Room, 2/18/09]

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Hoekstra took $6,550 in campaign money from oil and gas companies from 1997-2008. Hoekstra in 2005 also voted for $2.6 billion in subsidies for the oil and gas industries, in 2007voted against $14 billion to research alternative fuels, and in 2008 refused to support $18.1 billion in tax credits for renewable energy by eliminating tax breaks for Big Oil.

Michigan has lost 440,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000, yet Hoekstra voted time and time again to oppose programs that are now putting people in Holland and West Michigan back to work,” Holtz said. “Despite his double talk, Pete Hoekstra cannot hide from the fact that he puts Big Oil before ordinary Michigan families. Pete Hoekstra’s record speaks for itself: It’s a record where where powerful special interests, lobbyists and big corporations – not ordinary working families – have a special place at the head of the line.”



$14 billion alternative fuels vote: (CQ House Vote 40, HR 6, January 18, 2007; CQ Today, January 18, 2007)

$2.6 billion in oil subsidies vote: (Washington Post, July 30, 2005, August 9, 2005; CQ Weekly, July 29, 2005; CQ House Vote 445, HR 6, July 28, 2005)

$18.1 billion in tax credits for renewable energy by eliminating tax breaks for oil: (HR 5351, CQ House Vote 84, February 27, 2008)

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