Senators Offer Disapproval Resolution to Block EPA Endangerment Actions

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Jan. 21 introduced a bipartisan disapproval resolution to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Murkowski's resolution ─ co-sponsored by 35 Republicans and three Democrats ─ comes in the wake of the EPA's recent endangerment finding, which will result in regulations that Murkowski says will endanger America's economy.

"As the EPA moves closer and closer to issuing these regulations, I continue to believe that this command-and-control approach is our worst option for reducing the emissions blamed for climate change," Murkowski said.

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a strong proponent of moving the nation toward a cleaner energy future, said the disapproval resolution is necessary to avoid the "economic train wreck" that would result from the EPA regulating GHGs under the Clean Air Act.

"Our bipartisan resolution deals with an incredibly important question: whether or not members of this body are comfortable with the actions EPA will take under its current interpretation of the Clean Air Act. I'm not comfortable with those actions, and neither are the senators who have already agreed to add their names to this effort," Murkowski said. "The Clean Air Act was written by Congress to regulate criteria pollutants, not greenhouse gases, and its implementation remains subject to oversight and guidance from elected representatives. We should continue our work to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation, but in the meantime, we cannot turn a blind eye to the EPA's efforts to impose back-door climate regulations with no input from Congress."

Murkowski said EPA regulation could force businesses to cut jobs or close their doors for good; severely restrict domestic energy production, increasing our dependence on foreign suppliers and threatening our national security; make housing less affordable and consumer goods more expensive.

"If you truly believe that EPA climate regulations are good for the country, then vote to oppose our resolution," Murkowski said. "But if you share our concerns, and believe that climate policy should be debated in Congress, then vote with us to support it."

Upon introduction, a disapproval resolution is referred to the committee of jurisdiction, which in this case will be the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. If the committee does not favorably report the resolution, it may be discharged upon petition by 30 senators. Once a disapproval resolution is placed on the Senate calendar, it is then subject to expedited consideration on the Senate floor, and not subject to filibuster.

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