Murkowski Gains Democratic Allies to Block EPA Emissions Regulation
Politico.com reported on Thursday that Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) are collaborating with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in her efforts to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Lincoln, who hails from a Republican-leaning manufacturing state, said that, “Heavy-handed EPA regulation, as well as the current cap and trade bills in Congress, will cost us jobs, and put us at an even greater competitive disadvantage” relative to China, India, and other countries.
Murkowski planned to formally introduce on Thursday a “resolution of disapproval,” a rarely used legislative tool that allows Congress to overturn agency rules. Although this time she has gathered some support from Democrats, the resolution is not the first time that Murkowski has tried to deny the EPA jurisdiction over greenhouse gas emissions.
In September, a New York Times article reported that Murkowski was attempting to include an amendment to the Interior Department, EPA, and Forestry Service’s spending bill that would severely limit the Obama administration’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases. Her proposed amendment would “prohibit the EPA from regulating heat-trapping emissions from stationary sources like power plants and industrial facilities for one year.”
To become law, however, the resolution of disapproval introduced this week must be passed by the House and signed by President Obama, who is unlikely to overturn a rule that empowers his administration. Said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), “My guess is that it probably wouldn’t meet with favor when it hits the White House, if it ever passes the House and Senate.”
Congressional Democrats, the White House, and sponsors of climate change legislation have all said that they prefer to regulate emissions via legislation, as opposed to the use of agency action. It also remains to be seen if Murkowski’s amendment to the spending bill will get the 60 votes necessary to pass in the Senate.