Sen. Murkowski Offers Disapproval Resolution to Block EPA Endangerment of Economy
Legislative Veto of Agency Rule will Take Worst Option for Reducing Emissions off Table
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today introduced a bipartisan disapproval resolution to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Murkowski’s resolution – co-sponsored by 36 Republicans and three Democrats – comes in the wake of the EPA’s recent endangerment finding, which will result in damaging new regulations that endanger America’s economy.
“As the EPA moves closer and closer to issuing these regulations, I continue to believe that this command-and-control approach is our worst option for reducing the emissions blamed for climate change,” Murkowski said.
Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a strong proponent of moving the nation toward a cleaner energy future, said the disapproval resolution is necessary to avoid the “economic train wreck” that would result from the EPA regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
“Our bipartisan resolution deals with an incredibly important question: whether or not members of this body are comfortable with the actions EPA will take under its current interpretation of the Clean Air Act. I’m not comfortable with those actions, and neither are the senators who have already agreed to add their names to this effort,” Murkowski said. “The Clean Air Act was written by Congress to regulate criteria pollutants, not greenhouse gases, and its implementation remains subject to oversight and guidance from elected representatives. We should continue our work to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation, but in the meantime, we cannot turn a blind eye to the EPA’s efforts to impose back-door climate regulations with no input from Congress.”
Murkowski said EPA regulation could force businesses being to cut jobs or close their doors for good; severely restrict domestic energy production, increasing our dependence on foreign suppliers and threatening our national security; make Housing less affordable; and consumer goods more expensive.
“The continued operation of existing businesses and future endeavors alike – including Alaska’s three refineries, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, or TAPS, and the proposed Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline – will all be jeopardized,” Murkowski said. “Energy-intensive businesses throughout the state will be forced to acquire, install, and operate new equipment and technologies. In many cases, that will prove impossible because the technologies are too expensive or simply do not exist.”
The construction and operation of an Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline would be especially at risk because of compressor stations, which maintain a pipeline’s pressure and enable movement of the gas. There is no known best available control technology, as required under the Clean Air Act, for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from compressors and no good options for compliance.
Murkowski filed her disapproval resolution pursuant to the provisions of the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., and Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, were the principal sponsors of the CRA, incorporated into the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
Upon introduction, a disapproval resolution is referred to the committee of jurisdiction, which in this case will be the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. If the committee does not favorably report the resolution, it may be discharged upon petition by 30 Senators. Once a disapproval resolution is placed on the Senate calendar, it is then subject to expedited consideration on the Senate floor, and not subject to filibuster.
Posted: January 21, 2010