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Senate to Vote on EPA’s Authority to Regulate GHG Emissions

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says the Senate will vote on June 10 on a resolution that could prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, reports the New York Times.

Murkowski, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, unveiled her initial amendment in September last year, as the EPA was preparing to announce that pollution from greenhouse gases endangers public health.

Murkowski told the newspaper she has reached a unanimous consent agreement with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to call for a floor vote on her resolution. The Senate will debate the measure for 10 hours with no possibility of filibusters or amendments.

Murkowski’s resolution needs 51 votes and she already has 41 co-sponsors, including three Democrats: Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, according to the New York Times.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said if the EPA is prevented from regulating greenhouse gases it would significantly impact a deal struck last year between the auto industry, the administration and several states to limit greenhouse gases from cars and light trucks.

The EPA recently ruled it would not require pollution permits until January 2011 for the biggest polluters including power plants, industrial plants and other large stationary greenhouse gas sources.

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3 thoughts on “Senate to Vote on EPA’s Authority to Regulate GHG Emissions

  1. The EPA is the Agency in charge of Protecting the Environment, and the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are an environmental pollutant. So to argue that the EPA should not be able to regulate GHGs is pure politics.

    Maybe we need a new agency that protects the EPA from political hi-jinks?

  2. Anyone surprised that it’s a senator from Alaska proposing this? Drill, baby, drill. We need to seize this moment in US history to pass a climate change bill and get on the path to rid ourselves of fossil fuels. I hope they don’t pass this resolution until they get the climate bill through. If they give it up, that’s one less bargaining chip with which to leverage the pro-oil Republicans into accepting the climate bill. Democrats can’t give that up for nothing… would be silly to do so!

  3. Right on, Andy. The fact of the matter is that the EPA was forced, by a Supreme Court ruling, to investigate the hazards associated with GHG emissions – and to regulate them if a significant threat was determined to exist. Trying to make a political end run around a Supreme Court ruling that some special interest groups don’t happen to like is indeed pure political gamesmanship.
    This is a classic, and laughable, example of the usual industry reaction to any governmental process that they perceive as threatening to their ‘business as usual’ strategy to continue raking in their profits. Without regard to consequences suffered by society as a result.

    Lobbying (A.K.A. political vote-buying) to ensure that one’s own industry should be exempt from sharing any cost or contributing to the required solution; is quite frankly unacceptable. Is your industry a part of our society? Does it use Earth’s natural resources? Does it rely on Earth’s infrastructure to accept and recycle (eventually) it’s waste products? Then your industry MUST accept it’s share of the burden, and it’s share of the responsibility.
    We must all participate, we must all act in our collective best interests to avoid the worst of the global climate change threat.

    Lisa Murkowski should be ashamed of herself, except that she is so bought and paid for that I don’t think that morals continue to play much of a role with her.

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