June 10th, 2010
02:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate debates stripping EPA of authority to regulate greenhouse gases

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate engaged in a heated debate Thursday on an issue at the heart of the fight over energy reform: whether the Environmental Protection Agency should have the authority to impose clear limits on the emission of greenhouse gases.

The chamber is expected to vote on a proposed "resolution of disapproval" drafted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that would prevent the EPA from further regulation of air pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities. Murkowski has argued that new rules should only be created by Congress, not an executive agency.

"It would amount to an unprecedented power grab, ceding Congress' responsibilities to unelected bureaucrats and move a very, very important debate, a critical debate, from our open halls to behind an agency's closed doors," Murkowski argued on the Senate floor.

Murkowski's measure is vehemently opposed by environmentalists who say the EPA's decision to regulate greenhouse gases is based on scientific research.

"I believe it's ridiculous for politicians - elected senators - to make this scientific decision. It is not our expertise," replied Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We've got to stop this attack on science and health."


Filed under: Barbara Boxer • Energy • Environmental policy • EPA • Lisa Murkowski • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    They should at least interview people who have developed lung cancers and other problems because of these emissions. I realize Alaska doesn't have the condensed population to understand this, but she wants to rule the entire country based on her bias. Sounds like someone else from the Tundra State.

    June 10, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. PalmReader

    Financial industry collapse. Auto industry collapse. Health Care industry run amok. Oil gushing into the Gulf. Weapons of Mass Destruction. All courtesy of GOP controlled Congressional leadership.

    Sure. Give these same fools the chance to regulate the air we breath, the food we eat, and the water we drink.

    No-brainer.

    June 10, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. grrace

    Murkowski knows the Supreme Court has already ruled on this, and, she needs 60 votes...right? And, I believe the President would veto it, because the Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of the EPA. Therefore, Murkowski, thank you for wasting our time and being a dead beat Senator – sucking on tax payer dollars.

    June 10, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Texan

    Murkowski is a do-nothing that lives on her father's name. She wants to turn a scientific matter over to a do-nothing Congress. Murkowsi, do something: Resign and go back to your private do-nothing life!

    June 10, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Here come the carbon industry tools saying that plants gobble up CO2. Sure, that's what they do during the day. What do you suppose happens at night? It's called the carbon cycle. They don't mention that on Fox news, do they, T-baggers? Look it up. Learn something for a change.

    What a great idea Murkowski has here. Let the politicians who are funded by the energy industry make the decisions instead of the scientists who spend their lives studying this stuff. That's the problem with "Real Americans" and the interwebs in general: when everybody's an expert, nobody is. Have a nice day!

    June 10, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. GL

    Republicans are the cost of this country being behind in Science, Technogly, Health Care and a long list of other things. We the people want this country to move foward not backward like most Republicans. Congress knew very little about enviornment.

    June 10, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. GL

    The chamber is expected to vote on a proposed "resolution of disapproval" drafted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that would prevent the EPA from further regulation of air pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities. Murkowski has argued that new rules should only be created by Congress, not an executive agency.
    -------------------------------------

    Congress to regulate things is like having no regulations. We seen with regulations means to Congress Republicans = NEVER ANY REGULATIONS!

    June 10, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Augsbee

    What if EPA behaves anywhere near the inspectors of the oil drilling, receiving expensive meals, tickets, gifts, jobs, etc....?? then I would rather see Congress make those scientific decisions.

    June 10, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Just goes to show...nothing makes GOPers more angry than feeling like they can't abuse their elected office to protect their special interest supporters in the energy and other industries. Too bad the SCOTUS already said it's perfectly legal and Constitutional under the enabling legislation. But hey, when have the GOPers ever given a steaming sheisse about the Constitution when it happens to disagree with them?

    And why would CNN bother to include anything about the SCOTUS opinions on point?

    June 10, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. JonDie

    In other words, Lisa "Drill, baby, drill!" Murkowski's plan is to no NOTHING. Typical.

    June 10, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Naqib

    "I believe it's ridiculous for politicians – elected senators – to make this scientific decision. It is not our expertise," replied Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California"

    Really ??
    What about every other non expert decision you've made over 30 years. Can't wait to see you go in November... MA'AM !!!!

    June 10, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Dano

    Sure, a bunch of elected officials, most of whom have zero knowledge of environmental or meteorological science, and who are pandering to campaign contributors for money to get re-elected, would know more about greenhouse gases and their effect on climate than the worlds top scientists in their fields do. Well duh!

    June 10, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Steve- Illinois

    "I believe it's ridiculous for politicians – elected senators – to make this scientific decision. It is not our expertise," replied Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We've got to stop this attack on science and health."

    But health care is???? Or anything else for that matter? The only expertise most people in Congress have, is campaigning for re-election! My Congresswoman says cap and trade will help business improve productivity and create jobs! She knows this because prior to becoming a politician 20 years ago, she was an Avon lady! Now that's the expertise required for any job!

    Dump ALL career politicians!

    Common Sense!!!

    June 10, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. CaliforniaBC

    The EPA is doing this because Congress hasn't. And even it it does the Republicans will do everything they can to water it down in order to benefit big industry just like they did with the Healthcare Bill.

    I used to live in Alaska and their congressional leadership (along with virtually every other Alaskan politician) ONLY cares about resource extraction. It is their sole concern. Their economy is solely based on it. And the citizenry has been bribed to go along with it....(i.e. Permanent Fund Dividend PFD checks) which is based on how well the oil industry does each year. And talk about redistribution of wealth...LOL!!

    Whenever an endangered species listing came up or anything that was environmentally friendly was proposed it was demonized by the politicians in order to turn the public against it. The funny thing is that no matter how much evidence was put forth to the contrary, the people always believed what the politicians said.

    So I'm sorry Miss Murkowski your motivation is to solely benefit industry to hell with the environment. Just like your father, former Governor of AK who had a more than cozy relationship with all the industries up there and who appointed you to the Senate. You are continuing that legacy. Daddy will be proud.

    June 10, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |