Murkowski Still Planning EPA Block
A day after blocking an effort to raise the cap on liability for major oil spills, Lisa Murkowski issued a reminder that she still has another bailout bill for major polluters in her back pocket.
Murkowski's office released a statement Friday afternoon reminding reporters that the Alaska Republican still has a resolution of disapproval in reserve. Murkowski is seeking to use the disapproval resolution, a rarely-used procedural maneuver that enables Congress to overturn regulations set by the executive branch, to block the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. She can attempt to pass the resolution anytime between now and June 7.
Murkowski's threat comes after a week in which Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) finally released their climate and energy bill, a measure that faces an uncertain future in the Senate. It also comes shortly after the EPA issued a final rule that would guide the introduction of new carbon dioxide regulations, limiting the initial phase of regulations to only the biggest polluters.
Despite her continued insistence that she cares about addressing climate change, Murkowski has been at the forefront of efforts to block the EPA from regulating planet-warming emissions.
Murkowski's office says she has not yet decided on a date to call up her resolution of disapproval, but that she "will seek that vote by the June 7 deadline." So far, her measure has the support of 35 Republicans and four Democrats. It needs only 51 votes to pass.