With Blue Dog Allies, Alaska Senator and GOP Move to Strip EPA's Authority

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CNN

With Blue Dog Allies, Alaska Senator and GOP Move to Strip EPA's Authority

by
CNN Staff

WASHINGTON - The Senate on Thursday is expected vote
on a "resolution of disapproval" by an Alaskan senator that would
prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from further regulating air
pollution from vehicles and industrial facilities.

Alaska Sen.
Lisa Murkowski, the author of the resolution, vowed Tuesday to strip
the EPA of its authority to impose new limits on the emission of
greenhouse gases.

Murkowski has the bipartisan support of 40
other senators, who may disagree with each other on the scientific
impact of greenhouse gases, but who all agree that such regulations
should be authorized by Congress, not an executive agency.

"The
EPA intends to take control of climate policy, take it away from the
Congress," Murkowski said at a press conference with 11 of her fellow
Republican senators. "And I think those that are looking at this from
the perspective of separate but equal branches of government look at
this and say that this is absolutely unacceptable."

It is unclear whether there is enough support in the Senate to approve the measure, but its prospects in the House are slim.

The White House said it will issue a veto threat if the measure makes it to President Barack Obama's desk.

"(The
Murkowski resolution) 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," said a
White House policy statement.

At issue is a Supreme Court ruling
from 2007 which determined that the EPA has the authority to regulate
greenhouse gases under the rules of the Clean Air Act. In December
2009, the EPA concluded scientific findings and declared that carbon
dioxide and five other gases constitute pollutants that should be
further restricted. And the agency announced in April new rules for
vehicles: a mandatory increase in fuel efficiency coupled with
reductions in gas emissions, starting with 2012 model years.

Lisa
Jackson, the EPA Administrator, wrote a column Monday in the Huffington
Post accusing Murkowski of siding with "big oil companies and their
lobbyists" in an effort to "take away EPA's ability to protect the
health and welfare of Americans from greenhouse gas pollution."

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