Senate Showdown Over EPA Climate Rules Scheduled for June 10

Published on
by
The Hill

Senate Showdown Over EPA Climate Rules Scheduled for June 10

by
Ben Geman

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, right. The Senate is slated to vote June 10 on Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-Alaska) resolution that strips EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, according to Murkowski's office. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

The Senate is slated to vote June 10 on Sen. Murkowski's
resolution to strip EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases.

The Senate is slated to vote June 10 on Sen. Lisa Murkowski's
(R-Alaska) resolution that strips EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gas
emissions, according to Murkowski's office.

Robert Dillon, a
spokesman for Murkowski, said the senator struck a deal with Majority
Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Monday night on bringing the filibuster-proof
resolution to the floor next month, with a vote expected June 10.

Murkowski

has 40 co-sponsors - including centrist Democrats Ben Nelson (Neb.) and
Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) - for the plan.

Murkowski's plan
overturns EPA's "endangerment finding" last year that greenhouse gases
pose a threat to humans. The finding is the legal precursor to EPA rules
that limit heat-trapping emissions from cars, power plants, factories
and other sources.

Reid's office did not provide immediate comment
Tuesday morning.

Murkowski is bringing up the measure under the
little-used Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the power to
block federal regulations but has been used successfully just once.

Resolutions
under the act are immune from filibuster, but it remains highly
uncertain whether Murkowski can corral 10 more votes - especially if
lawmakers can find cover by backing less aggressive alternatives.

Sen.
Robert Casey (D-Pa.) said recently that he is working on a plan with
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) to shield smaller industrial sources from
regulation.

And Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) several months
ago introduced a bill that would require a two-year delay in EPA
regulation of stationary industrial sources - like power plants - while
leaving EPA regulation of tailpipe emissions untouched.

Also,
even if the measure cleared the Senate, advocates of blocking EPA would
have to force a vote on companion House legislation. Murkowski's plan
also faces a near-certain veto if it got that far - the White House has
repeatedly criticized her resolution.

Murkowski alleges that EPA
regulation under its existing Clean Air Act powers will have harmful
economic effects. EPA, under recently
finalized rules
, will begin phasing in greenhouse gas permit
requirements for large sources like coal-fired power plants and
refineries next year.

But Murkowski fears that EPA will
eventually impose burdensome rules across a wide swath of the economy
and does not believe that EPA's plan to limit the regulations to large
emitters will hold up in court.

Share This Article

More in: