Friday, September 18, 2009

The latest outrage from Congress: Murkowski threatens to try blocking EPA ghg authority

As if we didn’t have enough special-interest meddling from the Senate already on EPA’s spending bill (Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is carrying corn and wants to force EPA to permit more smog-forming ethanol in gasoline), now comes word that Senator Lisa Murkowski wants to take away EPA authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants, oil refineries and other smokestack industries.

As reported in this morning’s Environment and Energy Daily,

"Senator Murkowski is concerned about the economic consequences of EPA command-and-control regulation of emissions," said spokesman Robert Dillon. The senator plans to file the amendment, Dillon said, adding that he did not know whether a decision has been made to press for a vote.

“Command and control,” although I think initially a military term, is inflammatory language used by opponents of government action to deal with environmental problems.

We can’t wait to hear Murkowski’s argument should she proceed with this ill-considered idea.

Is she going to claim that this is something better handled by Congress? If so, why has she denounced the comprehensive climate legislation approved by the House?

The weird part here is that Murkowski herself has warned about the impact of global warming on Alaska (where, as Politico put it earlier this year, “the Alaskan tundra thaws and fishing villages disappear into the ocean.”)

Our guess is Murkowski is responding to the big campaign contributions she has received from the oil and electric power industries, both of which oppose EPA action.

It is a real shame that campaign cash once again appears to triumph over responsible policies. We hope Senator Murkowski’s colleagues will see her move for what it is – duplicitous special-interest pandering that should be rejected out of hand.

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