Enviro Groups Target Murkowski's Polluter Ties

| Tue Jan. 19, 2010 5:23 PM EST

On Wednesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski could move to block the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide—and environmental groups are waging a last-minute campaign against the Alaska Republican by highlighting her ties to fossil fuel interests.

As we noted last week, last fall Murkowski drafted an amendment limiting the EPA's power with help from two energy industry lobbyists and former Bush EPA staffers. A Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility investigation into campaign records last week found that Murkowski has received $126,550 in campaign contributions from clients of those lobbyists since 2004, including big players like Duke Energy and Southern Company.

The National Wildlife Federation Action fund is running television ads in Alaska and Washington, DC. The ads accuse Murkowski of putting the "polluter lobby" first, rather than the needs of the state.

Friends of the Earth is running radio ads in Alaska claiming that Murkowski "is more interested in working for Washington lobbyists and special interests than she is in protecting Alaska's way of life." MoveOn is also rallying its members around the country on the issue.

Murkowski could introduce a measure to block EPA regulation during a Senate debate over unrelated legislation that would raise the national debt ceiling.