Associated Press: Murkowski addresses spending, EPA; calls efforts 'badge of honor'

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in a speech before Interior Republicans, said she considers her attempt to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act to be a "badge of honor." Senate Republicans, and the six Democrats who voted with them to advance Murkowski's resolution, said Congress should be in charge of writing climate change policy. They said the EPA rules would drive up energy costs and kill jobs.

The Senate defeated the resolution 53-47 on June 10. Murkowski told a Fairbanks audience that she was proud the Obama administration had to exert so much effort to defeat it.

"We made our point," Murkowski said. "Forty-seven members of the Senate said they do not want to allow the agency to set climate change policy."

The senator, who is seeking re-election, also criticized excessive government spending and health care reform in Friday's speech.

Murkowski warned of the $5.8 trillion public debt, which she said will double in five years and triple in 10 years if government spending continues on its current course. She said the spending puts the federal government's bond rating at risk, and could eventually trigger Greece-like civil unrest.

"There is nothing more out of check than what is happening with the debt, what is happening with the deficit," she said.

Murkowski offered few specifics about cutting spending, but said she welcomed an internal review by the Pentagon to cut defense spending. Defense, a key industry in Alaska, comprises nearly a quarter of the federal budget.

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Source: Published June 26, 2010