June 10th, 2010
08:31 AM ET
8 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. Ice Age

    It is reprehensible that a senator from a state with a population that is LESS than a suburb of Los Angeles would have such sway to cater to the oil industry in their own state and try and overturn regulations that have kept the air and water clean for decades. Murkowski (and her father before her) are unabashed allies of all corporations and do not care about the environmental impact of any company in their own state.

    In the wake of the Gulf spill it is downright illadvised and selfish for Murkowski to attempt her little power play, and I am glad Obama will bounce this resolution off his desk with a veto as soon as it arrives. What a waste of time for the Senate.

    June 10, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Another effort to put Congress in a position of dictatorship.

    June 10, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. jp,michigan

    Regulation of clean air should be done by congress. Congress is the voice of the people. EPA is the voice of the President, whom ever that may be. Regulation of oil companies haven't been done adequately or safety measures should have been in place for the Gulf oil spill. Federal government truly is not doing its job, not only this President and congress but several decades of government bureaucracy. When will the people we place on the Hilll finally listen to the voice of the American people, any and all mistake are paid for by the American people . If those on the Hill want to keep their high paying jobs they better start doing their job.

    June 10, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    The republican response to help the Gulf industries that are being destroyed by BP's greed. Murkowski and Rand Paul appear to be to the right of the radical John Birch Society candidate in Nevada, Sharron Angle.

    June 10, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. stevetall

    Considering how poorly the legislature is doing with regard to their current responsibilities, I would prefer it if the EPA took the initiative to control greenhouse gases.

    Lisa Murkowski is simply a tool.

    June 10, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Diane

    So, Murkowski wants to take the decision away from experts in the field and give it to congressmen who know nothing about the topic, congressmen who are busy with trying to learn about thirty thousand other topics while spending half their time trying to get re-elected.
    THIS is how we get into trouble. Having politicians making decisions in areas they know nothing about.
    What is her motive, exactly?

    June 10, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  7. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    She is another reason that their will not be much of a republican landslide in November. By the way, the anti incumbent fervor is just a Fox news joke, as most incumbents won in the primaries.

    June 10, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. vegage

    This lady is just a moron. She is acting like Catholics that executed Galileo because he said the earth was round shape instead of flat. It is obvious before all of our eyes that climate is changing, just is enough to see how glaciers in Montana are disappearing, saying that nothing is happening is just being blind and moron.

    June 10, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. jilli

    "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."

    Seriously? The b00bs in congress can be more effective than the epa? Congress is beholden to corporations to fund their campaigns. You want more bp and massey type disasters, just follow ms murkowski over the cliff.

    June 10, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. gg

    maybe its because oil companies own republican party

    June 10, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. John in Brooklyn

    Lisa Murkowski demonstrates just how out of touch the GOP is when it comes to the American people. At a time when we are facing one of the worst ecological disasters in American history, Murkowski is doggedly working to reduce, not strengthen, the federal government's ability to monitor, control, and avoid potential disasters from happening again.

    Her position is so absurd that it only illuminates just how unabashedly the GOP has sold its soul to corporate interests, with no regard to the American people or the circumstances in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    June 10, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. Marcus

    No one is that Science-blind, at least not honestly, right?
    Well... there's people out there who still BELIEVES that the Earth is flat.
    So she MAY be that... 'poorly taught'.
    But she also MAY be what the EPA administrator said that she is.
    My money is on the second option.

    June 10, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. Eric

    Executive branch agencies tread dangerously close to the line of unconstitutionality... the founders never intended to have a legislative branch and a separate executive branch with "sub branches" that mirror the responsibilities of the legislative, yet are not subject to the legislative branch checks and balances.

    This ultra-constitutional executive-branch overreach started with TR, Wilson and FDR, and has been pushed and enjoyed by nearly every executive admission since. Hopefully, we can turn this beast back to what was intended by the founders.

    2010 and 2012 marks the beginning of the "Re-Founding" of our nation, stripping away the power-grabs that never should have occured and returning us to the truly free nation our forefathers intended for us.

    June 10, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    When an overwhelming majority of those in the science community agree that we are experiencing global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels, and we have a senator that want's to get rid of the EPA's control of said burning, I just have to ask WHY? Check into her contributions from big oil. What else could there be?

    Are we seriously willing to take a chance; a roll of the dice? What if we do the wrong thing when the right thing makes so much sense. Cleaner air? We benefit. More fuel efficient cars? Another benefit. Why are we being so stupid? Does big energy have that much of a hold on us? Where's that independent spirit, America? Our politicians have been bought off, we know that. but what about us? There's no benefit to us siding with big oil. None.

    June 10, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Larry

    Strip the authority of the EPA in the middle of an environmental disaster.

    Now there's a Republican for you.

    Come on November.....

    June 10, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Pete in Guilford

    Republicans once again show that they are the tools of giant corporations. They want to let Congress sell environmental policy to the highest bidder.

    June 10, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The EPA is a bunch of tree-huggers who wouldn't care in the slightest if the things they impose on the American people bankrupt us individually or collectively. The whole agency needs to be reined in or, ideally, scrapped–it's not at all clear that they've ever done anything useful.

    June 10, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. CNN=corporate news network

    republicans: doing everything possible to turn Earth into Mars!

    June 10, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Scooter

    Congress, wake up...you can't do the job already laid in front of you. Power hungry fools.

    June 10, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. The reality is...

    the Democrats mantra remains intact – pretend like we need to save the environment in order to have a "reason" to redistribute wealth, become a third world nation, and watch China, India, and all the other nations that don't cave to the hoax prosper.
    Let's find out who won the Senate primary in S. Carolina.

    June 10, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Bill NY

    Look at the rising rates of various cancers and do not be surprised when scientific studies directly link industrial and automotive pollution to the rapid spread of cancer. As usual our politicians main concern is money.

    June 10, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Another ignorant she-cretin from Alaska doing the bidding of this country's corporate-sponsored rightwing underbelly.

    The real sad part, though, is that there a number of you neo-morons out there that actually support this kind of rule-free and no-responsibility approach to corporate citizenship...and I'll bet you couldn't give an intelligible reason why. Note that I said intelligible....not the rightwing, neo-libertarian, tea-bagging dogma that you soak up from the vacuous uber-partisan idiots on FuxNews.

    June 10, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Gil

    Yes, the Party of No wants to let the industries of America that they can destroy the enviornment without any interference! Another reason to vote all the republicans out of office come November!

    June 10, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. Dano

    My God can it be any more obvious exectly who Sen. Murkowski owes her allegience to? First she fights to keep the liability cap on Big Oil even though the cost of cleaning up the Gulf and compensating business owners hurt by the BP spill will be far, far more than 75 million. Now she wants to prevent the EPA from imposing new limits on the emission of greenhouse gases. She is bought and paid for by the oil industry and apparently proud of the fact!

    June 10, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Bob in PA

    Greenhouse Gas is a theory based on bad science. CO2 is plant food.
    The EPA shoulp mandate more greenery be grown and planted in new development.areas and sparse landscapes. If the EPA was actually doing their jobs, they would have been policing the rig in gulf and making sure the safe guards that were in place actually functioned.

    June 10, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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