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Obama threatens to veto Murkowski amendment

By Juliet Eilperin

The White House has issued a veto threat against Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-Alaska) resolution to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

In a Statement of Administration Policy released Tuesday afternoon, the White House stated that Murkowski's proposal, which will come to a vote on the Senate floor Thursday, "would seriously disrupt EPA's ability to address the threat of [greenhouse gas] pollution, as well as the multi-agency Federal GHG and fuel economy program."

The statement adds that the resolution "also would undermine the Administration's efforts to reduce the negative impacts of pollution and the risks associated with environmental catastrophes, like the ongoing BP oil spill."

EPA is moving ahead with rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired utilities and other major emitters; it has already enacted the first-ever greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles, a policy embraced by both the auto industry and environmentalists.

Murkowski, however, said her resolution would not affect the new federal vehicle standards or the federal government's oil spill response.

"The administration and opponents of the disapproval resolution know they're losing the argument about the costs of EPA climate regulations," Murkowski said in a statement. "There is nothing in my resolution that negates fuel economy gains or makes our country more dependent on oil. Falsely linking this effort to the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico is an insult to those impacted by the spill and to the hundreds of stakeholders that are concerned about the economic consequences of EPA's climate regulations."

Environmentalists, however, said the White House veto threat should encourage senators to vote against Murkowski's proposal.

"The White House's statement makes clear that Big Oil's resolution isn't going anywhere," said National Wildlife Federation Senior Vice President Jeremy Symons. "At this point this vote is a blatant test to see who still stands with the oil companies. My advice to Senators would be to ask themselves what (BP CEO) Tony Hayward would do, and do the opposite."

By

Juliet Eilperin

 |  June 8, 2010; 3:55 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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