Enviro Groups Target Murkowski’s Polluter Ties


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.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.