June 10th, 2010
08:31 AM ET
5 years ago

Alaska senator moves to strip EPA's authority

Washington (CNN) - The Senate on Thursday is expected vote on a "resolution of disapproval" by an Alaskan senator that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from further regulating air pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the author of the resolution, vowed Tuesday to strip the EPA of its authority to impose new limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.

Murkowski has the bipartisan support of 40 other senators, who may disagree with each other on the scientific impact of greenhouse gases, but who all agree that such regulations should be authorized by Congress, not an executive agency.

"The EPA intends to take control of climate policy, take it away from the Congress," Murkowski said at a press conference with 11 of her fellow Republican senators. "And I think those that are looking at this from the perspective of separate but equal branches of government look at this and say that this is absolutely unacceptable."

It is unclear whether there is enough support in the Senate to approve the measure, but its prospects in the House are slim.


The White House said it will issue a veto threat if the measure makes it to President Barack Obama's desk.

"(The Murkowski resolution) 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," said a White House policy statement.

At issue is a Supreme Court ruling from 2007 which determined that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the rules of the Clean Air Act. In December 2009, the EPA concluded scientific findings and declared that carbon dioxide and five other gases constitute pollutants that should be further restricted. And the agency announced in April new rules for vehicles: a mandatory increase in fuel efficiency coupled with reductions in gas emissions, starting with 2012 model years.

Lisa Jackson, the EPA Administrator, wrote a column Monday in the Huffington Post accusing Murkowski of siding with "big oil companies and their lobbyists" in an effort to "take away EPA's ability to protect the health and welfare of Americans from greenhouse gas pollution."


Filed under: Energy • EPA • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Greg Smith

    Congress wouldn't do it, the EPA did it, now congress wants to throw a tantrum about it. If they want to pass this resolution because they feel that EPA overstepped its authority then they should tack on the regulation that does what the EPA is doing.

    June 10, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. No

    The epa does not need complete control of anything. A bunch of treehuggers could be put in charge and read some science report in a magazine and get completely out of control on issues.Just like the size of the hole in the ozone layer. Just opinions of scientists that differ greatly from one to the other and no one knows for sure if there is actually a problem to start with.The so called climate change is also just opinions, the warming trend could be a natural occurence that has been going on for eons. Certain ex politicians sure got rich off of hollering the sky is falling.

    June 10, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. FM

    That what happens when a loser becomes a leader of something. Sarah Palin is the one who leads the Tea Party movement. Can you imagine John McCain leading any movement now! There is no difference between the two. They are both losers! No one should be frightened by the Tea Party movement, it was like boiling water and now have reached a point to cool down.

    June 10, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. independent in SD

    Why, so they can screw this up as they have everything else. The EPA is following the laws that the Congress put in place. Now, she doesn't want them following the law. Just crazy and pathetic.

    June 10, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Johnny DC

    This power does not belong in the hands of an agency that is entirely controlled by the administration that resides in the White House. That is an incredibly conflict of interest and a means of sidestepping the minority party altogether.

    The legislative ability of the EPA to create laws and regulations (such as emission laws) is an incredibly powerful tool that should be voted on by the members of Congress, not dictated by the current Chief of Staff.

    June 10, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. Aaron

    It looks like polluting industries are funding some re-election campaigns!

    June 10, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Marlene

    The problem, Sen. Murkowski and the 40 signators on the resolution, is that Congress won't do anything. The Supreme Court forced the EPA's hand on the greenhouse gas issue. Until and unless the Congress wil make the hard decisions and act on legislation, it leaves the EPA forced to move forward with regulation. Point the finger on blame on yourselves, Senators. Marlene in Mich

    June 10, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. BestProfitCompany = WAR

    Thats a great idea because we all know congress does a great job at everything! /sarcasm off

    June 10, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Charlie

    Well Murkowski is right. Policy is set by our legislators, not some biased bureaucrat with an agenda. And as a scientist I an tell you the Earth is warming and has been for the last 15,000 years. We are in a cycle that repeats every 130,000 years, soon there will be an ice age. Mere Mortals cannot control the laws and actions of nature. To say man is causing Global Warming is an outright lie.

    June 10, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. definately needs an overhaul

    the EPA needs to be looked at, taken apart and put back together

    much like the SEC is to wallstreet and the FCC is to broadcast, they have and continue to poorly execute their missions

    part of this is simply diminished power over time, but the Bush administration did a lot of damage as well in its 8 years

    take fresh looks at them I say and build them again

    June 10, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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