The Hill: Senator: Make sure climate bill won't 'kick the economy in the head'

Congress should take care to not "kick the economy in the head" when it passes climate change legislation, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaksa) said Tuesday.

Murkowski told reporters during a conference call that while the Congress should address climate change, it should do so at its own pace, and examine other alternatives beside the "cap and trade" system currently under consideration.

"I appreciate the president's commitment to addressing this, and that Congress does need to act on climate change," Murkowski said in the call, which was organized by the Republican National Committee (RNC). "The path the administration has chosen, that of cap and trade, is not the best option."

But, Alaska's senior senator said, the Congress should "also have to make sure we don't kick the economy in the head" when it comes to looking at different options for reining in global warming.

She asserted that all options -- including a plain carbon tax -- should be on the table, but that the House and Senate should take its time in considering options, and ignore pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the looming deadline of this fall's climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

To that effect, Murkowski talked up an amendment she has offered to stall the EPA's ability to issue regulations while lawmakers consider different climate bills.

"I'm looking to buy the time to do that," Murkowski explained. "I am not suggesting through this amendment that we should take the issue of climate change legislation off the table. But I also believe that when you have competing priorities before the Congress, this is one where we might not be able to advance it legislatively, and the agency steps in."

By:  Originally published by The Hill newspaper on September 22, 2009