Murkowski to EPA: I’m Baaaack!


Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski hasn’t even officially won her bid for reelection in Alaska, but she’s already reviving to block a pending Environmental Protection Agency plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

On Wednesday, President Obama said that EPA regulations loom on the horizon in 2011, in the absence of an alternative produced by Congress. While Obama said he’s not wedded to cap and trade legislation to curb emissions, he stressed that the administration is committed to doing something on the issue.

In response, Murkowski’s office blased out a statement Thursday renewing her call to take the EPA regs off the table:

There are a great number of things we can do to responsibly reduce our carbon emissions without burdening our economy with an unworkable cap-and-trade scheme or command-and-control regulation by the EPA,” Murkowski said. “Many of those policies, including investment in renewable and alternative energy technology, increased efficiency, and expanding our nuclear power options were included in the comprehensive bill I helped pass out of the Energy Committee more than a year ago.

If the president wants to start with the work the Energy Committee has already done, I would be happy to work with him. But I also believe we must first preempt the EPA from meddling in the work of Congress when it comes to setting climate policies.

Murkowski, whose conflicted climate stance we profiled here, has made several previous attempts at blocking EPA regulations. Her last one failed in June, but it had the support of six Democrats. Significant Republican gains in the Senate certainly increase the possibility that a similar block could pass this year, though Obama would likely veto it.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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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.