Murkowski changing tactics to gut Clean Air Act on behalf of polluters

by Mike Gaworecki

January 22, 2010

Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski is switching tactics in her attempts to gut the Clean Air Act on behalf of big polluters. Her amendment to strip the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act caused an uproar when it was revealed that two polluter lobbyists had helped write it. Now Murkowski has introduced a resolution to roll back the EPA’s endangerment finding altogether, and she has the support of 35 other Republicans – as well as three Democrats.

Murkowski offered a “resolution of disapproval” yesterday that, if passed, would essentially be a Congressional veto of the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health and welfare, which was a necessary first step before the agency could begin to regulate those emissions. The Murkowski amendment would have stripped that regulatory capability from the EPA, and per the Senate’s rules would have required 60 votes to pass. The resolution, on the other hand, only requires 51 votes.

The "resolution of disapproval" Murkowski has now introduced may be a different tactic, but it’s just another attempt by the Senator and her polluter lobbyist pals to gut the Clean Air Act and let King Coal and Big Oil off the hook.

The three Democratic Senators who have supported the resolution Murkowski offered on behalf of big polluters – Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska – have all taken substantial campaign donations from the same polluter lobbyists who helped write the Murkowski amendment and their clients, as we detailed in a report issued earlier this week.

As you can see from these latest developments, it’s extremely important that we keep reminding our Senators that they were elected to represent us, not big polluters. Take action right now to tell your Senators that you expect them to protect your health and wellbeing, not the profits of polluters.

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