A Dangerous Quid Pro Quo? EPA To Give UP CO2 Regulation for A Climate Bill?
Sen. Lisa Mukowski Photo via Flickr
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will soon be allowed to offer an amendment to Senate debt legislation to strip the EPA of its ability, given to it under a Supreme Court decision and the Endangered Species Act, to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for one year. Murkowski, who sits on the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and is fervently against allowing EPA to cut greenhouse gas emissions, has been pushing the amendment for over a year.According to EE News (subscription required)
"Murkowski has said that her amendment is necessary to avoid an 'economic train wreck' that would result from EPA regulation of stationary sources of carbon dioxide and insisted that the measure would not interfere with other EPA regulations, including rules to limit mobile source emissions."
The move is significant for several reasons. The amendment would only be in effect for one year, meaning that that the EPA could still regulate mobile sources of greenhouse gases but not large stationary sources like coal plants. Second, the EPA's current authority is thought to put pressure on Congress to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill that finally puts a price on carbon. The Senate has yet to follow the House's lead and vote on a climate bill.
The amendment wil need 60 votes and the vote is expected January 20.