Reaffirming Congress’ Policy Role, Rejecting EPA Endangerment

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) this afternoon spoke on the Senate floor to announce her intention to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding through legislation. From her news release, “Murkowski Seeks to Halt EPA Endangerment of U.S. Economy”:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced her intention to file a disapproval resolution to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Murkowski’s resolution comes in the wake of the agency’s recent endangerment finding, which will result in damaging new regulations that endanger America’s economy.

“I remain committed to reducing emissions through a policy that will protect our environment and strengthen our economy, but EPA’s backdoor climate regulations achieve neither of those goals,” Murkowski said. “EPA regulation must be taken off the table so that we can focus on more responsible approaches to dealing with global climate change.”

While the administration claims the endangerment finding is merely an affirmation of the science behind global climate change, Murkowski said that aspect is just the tip of the iceberg.

“The EPA administrator’s move has thrown open the door to expensive and intrusive government regulation – as far from a market-based solution as we can possibly imagine,” Murkowski said. “The endangerment finding is aptly named. It endangers jobs, it endangers economic growth, and it endangers American competitiveness, while setting the stage for backdoor bureaucratic intrusion into the lives of Americans on an unprecedented scale.

The Congressional Review Act allows the filing of a resolution of disapproval to executive branch regulations. It has been used once before, in 2001 to reverse President Clinton’s last-minute issuance of workplace ergonomics standards. Once Murkowski files the resolution, it will go to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and if not acted upon, can be discharged if 30 Senators sign a petition. A disapproval resolution cannot be filibustered.

This is an issue that should unite Republicans and Democrats alike: The Executive Branch has ignored Congress’ constitutional authority to make policy, and is through a regulatory power grab attempting to control huge portions of the economy — and people’s lives — by limiting carbon dioxide emissions.

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