Murkowski Amendment Puts Policy Where it Belongs: Congress

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) plans to introduce an amendment today to H.R. 2966, the Interior and Environment appropriations bill, to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from spending money on regulating carbon dioxide from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act for a period of one year.

From her news release: “Very clearly, stationary sources must reduce emissions in order to bring our nation to its climate goal. But forcing them to do so through the Clean Air Act would be one of the least efficient and most damaging ways to pursue that goal. It would be rife with unintended consequences, and could be devastating for our economy.”

The National Association of Manufacturers on Wednesday identified the amendment as  “Key Vote,” that is, one of the important votes of the 111th Congress that will be used to gauge a Senator’s record of support on manufacturing issues.  From the “Key Vote” letter signed by Jay Timmons, NAM’s Executive Vice President:

At a time when our economy is attempting to recover from the most severe recession since the 1930s, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, with no guidance from Congress, will establish disincentives for the long-term investments that would be necessary to grow jobs and expedite economic recovery. The Murkowski Amendment seeks to ensure a healthy and productive discussion in Congress on harmonizing our nation’s energy, environmental and economic needs before the EPA starts regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from stationary sources, including manufacturing facilities. 

And …

Supporting the Murkowski Amendment does not convey opposition to climate change policy; it merely allows Congress to do its job. We concur with the sentiment in a Washington Post September 21 editorial, “Regulating Carbon.” It noted that the EPA “is preparing to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act,” which “is breathtakingly unsuited to the great task of battling global warming….Yet if Congress does not act, it’s likely that the EPA will. It won’t be pretty.”

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  • MainStreet says:

    Obama has appointed ?many Czars as an end-around and now he has promised to use the EPA to get hs way on carbon emissions if Congress does not pass the Cap and Trade legislation. We can only hope that, through the Murkowski amendment, Congress will wake up and slow down this takeover of power by the Executive branch.

  • The EPA was set up with broad bipartisan support of Congress. It was given the job of regulating any gases that are harmful to the public. The Supreme Court has ruled that regulating carbon dioxide is well within the charter of the EPA. This is not an unreasonable intrusion on the power of Congress, it is doing the job given the EPA by Congress. This amendment is another attempt by special insterest groups to circumvent the law by stripping a legitimate government agency of the money it needs to do its job. And having the EPA regualte carbon dioxide will NOT “establish disincentives for the long-term investments that would be necessary to grow jobs and expedite economic recovery.” Quite to the contrary, it will create enormous opportunities for growth in new green industries. Even major established companies like GE are supporting regulations like cap-and-trade because they see the potential for economic growth. Only special interest grousp like the coal and oil industries oppose this. (Note the amendment was proposed by a Sentor from Alaska.)

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