Senator Murkowski Introduces Resolution Prohibiting EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
USCM Sends Letter in Opposition
By Judy Sheahan
March 8, 2010
Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) introduced a “disapproval resolution” (S.J.Res.26) on January 21 that would block Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act. The resolution has 41 cosponsors, including three moderate Democrats.
This resolution was initiated in reaction to EPA’s ruling that greenhouse gas emissions did prove to be a danger to human health and welfare and published a rule requiring industries that emit 25,000 tons or more of greenhouse gas emissions to report their emissions. This authority was in response to a Supreme Court case, Massachusetts v. EPA, where it was determined that EPA could consider greenhouse gas emissions as potentially causing the endangerment of human health and welfare and therefore be a regulated under the Clean Air Act. The Conference of Mayors signed onto an amicus brief supporting the Massachusetts position that greenhouse gas emissions did pose a danger and therefore EPA should regulate it.
Murkowski’s measure can be discharged from committee with 30 Senatorial signatures and placed on the Senate calendar. It will then be given ten hours of debate and voted on. If it receives more than 50 votes, it will pass. It is unclear as to exactly when Murkowski will officially be offering her resolution up.
There is a similar effort on the House side, led by Representative Joe Barton (TX), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, with at least 86 Republicans signing on as co'sponsors.
Meanwhile, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said their plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions would be a “gradual phase in” for industrial sources. According to Energy and Environment Daily, Jackson said that no stationary sources will face greenhouse gas regulations this year and that small sources will not be subject to permitting requirements any sooner than 2016. The agency will begin to require permits from other large sources in the latter half of 2011.
In a letter sent to all Senators urging them not to support Murkowski’s resolution, Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran said, “Instead of embracing the progress of state and local governments to combat climate change, efforts to block all or part of the Clean Air Act would seriously undermine the overwhelming science of climate change and further exacerbate impacts to national security and public health and welfare. Additionally, these efforts hold back billions of dollars in job-creating clean energy investments all across the country. America has the ability to lead the world in growing the clean energy economy but our continued dependence on fossil fuels does nothing to drive investments in the clean energy and efficiency programs needed to spur local economic development and job growth.”