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Murkowski takes aim at EPA

By Juliet Eilperin

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) plans to announce Thursday she will move to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Murkowski, who will deliver a floor speech on her plan, intends to offer a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. She will also have a Democratic co-sponsor on the resolution, sources said.

"She has Democratic support," said Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon, though he declined to identify which senators, if any, would sign on as original co-sponsors to such a resolution.

The move would guarantee ten hours of debate on the issue of whether EPA has the right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, though the actual debate could be a few months from now. Murkowski told reporters this week that she is "leaning toward" offering the resolution, but did not give a definitive answer about her plans.

Congress has only reversed a federal regulation once under the law, overturning a Clinton-era ergonomics rule. While Murkowski's proposal is sure to encounter serious resistance in both the House and Senate, if it passed both chambers it could effectively block the EPA from imposing economy-wide limits on carbon dioxide and other emissions linked to climate change.

In an effort to lay the groundwork for limits on EPA's powers, Dillon released a chronological record of how Murkowski incorporated the objections of environmentalists and Obama officials into an amendment she drafted on the issue last fall. To see that background, click here.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  January 20, 2010; 9:47 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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