President Barack Obama is planning to veto a bill that — if it passes Congress — would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and derail efforts for a climate change bill.
GOP Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski will ask senators to approve the measure Thursday, which will reportedly signal the Senate’s official disagreement with the EPA’s finding that carbon is a danger and needs to be regulated. The proposal uses a technique that can’t be filibustered and is an official mechanism to disagree with the rulings of executive branch agencies, according to reports.
Support for the Murkowski is coming from both sides of the aisle as lawmakers dispute the EPA’s right to set energy policy.
“I have long maintained that the Congress — not the unelected EPA — must decide major economic and energy policy,” said Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia in a press release. “EPA regulation will have an enormous impact on the economic security of West Virginia and our energy future.”
The White House said this week that Murkowski’s proposal would “undermine the administration’s efforts to reduce the negative impacts of pollution and the risks associated with environmental catastrophes, like the ongoing BP oil spill.”
The Miami Herald reported that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson “had even harsher words:”
“She called the oil spill a ‘tragic reminder of the hazards of our oil addiction’ and accused Murkowski of undermining the agency’s efforts to zero in on large emitters, not small ones.
‘It would take away EPA’s ability to take action on climate change,” Jackson said. “And it would ignore and override scientific findings, allowing big oil companies, big refineries and others to continue to pollute without any oversight or consequence. Finally, it will result in exactly zero protections for small businesses.'”
The Washington Post suggests even though Murkowski’s proposal won’t pass, it threatens the President’s longstanding efforts toward climate change legislation, “as it’ll show that the Senate is much more united on blocking regulations than creating them.”