Investors Business Daily: GOP Seeking To ‘Veto’ EPA Ruling

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told reporters Thursday that Republicans would try to pass a resolution blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The senator said she believed they had enough support to get the resolution out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. It would be unlikely to get far in the full Senate though.

"For all intents and purposes, this is a veto of the (EPA) decision," Murkowski said. She made her comments in a briefing hosted by the publication Energy Daily.

On Dec. 7, Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, announced that her agency was asserting its authority to regulate greenhouse gases based on a 2007 Supreme Court decision. Jackson said the administration would prefer Congress to enact regulations, but said they were "authorized and obligated to act" if Congress didn't.

The administration's action was likely a prod to get the Senate to pass a long-stalled climate bill. In a statement Thursday Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and co-author of the stalled bill, said, "(The) endangerment finding sent Congress a clear signal: Get moving. If Congress won't legislate, the EPA will regulate."

One reason for the legislative "veto," Murkowski said, was that even if the EPA does not itself act, the decision means that outside green groups could file lawsuits to force the agency to act.

"Once those regulations are in place, you are on a path that is pretty hard to undo," the senator said.

She said she was confident she could get the 30 senate signatures required and that they could even get bipartisan support for it. It is highly unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would allow a vote on it though.

Back in September, the Senate blocked Murkowski's effort to limit the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases for a year.

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Source: By Sean Higgins. Originally published by Investors Business Daily on December 18, 2009