Floor Speech: Murkowski's Closing Statement on Disapproval Resolution
*** As Prepared for Delivery ***
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today delivered the following closing statement today from the Senate floor on her disapproval resolution:
"Mr. President, you've heard our reasons for bringing this bipartisan resolution to the floor. The EPA's efforts to contort the Clean Air Act into a statute capable of regulating greenhouse gas emissions amount to an unprecedented overreach and are unlikely to survive legal challenge. The EPA refuses to provide any estimate of the costs of these regulations. There is universal agreement that Congress should be in charge of climate policy, because we remain a government of the people.
"In my opening statement, I predicted our opponents would refuse to discuss the actual effects of the EPA's regulations. I was correct, but let's dispose of some of the red herrings we've heard today. Most cynical are the efforts to link our resolution to the oil spill. That serves only to cheapen the horrible and ongoing tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico and distract from the reasons why 41 Senators sponsored this resolution. Here's the real question: why is the EPA attempting to impose economy-wide regulations - regulations that will not help clean up or prevent future accidents - instead of focusing its resources on the spill?
"Our opponents have tried to tie our resolution to oil companies because of their unpopularity. To see just how misleading that is, take a look at our list of supporters. You'll see farmers, small business owners, manufacturers, and taxpayer advocates. The construction and timber industries. A pizza place in Ohio and bakeries in Missouri. All of those, and thousands and thousands of concerned individuals, have weighed in to support our resolution.
"Mr. President, to set the record straight, I ask unanimous consent that letters of support and a list of more than 530 groups and companies be printed in the Congressional Record following my remarks.
"We've heard that our resolution is anti-science. Some of our supporters agree with it, and some do not. The reality is that the science is what it is, and it is beyond the power of Congress to change. But this is an issue of the best way, and the most appropriate body, to respond to the conclusions being reached by members of the scientific community.
"We've also heard that our resolution would upset fuel economy. Not the case - it would actually stop an agency never intended to have that responsibility from taking control of fuel economy under an Act never intended for that purpose. Thanks to the "auto deal" we now have two national standards, set by two federal agencies, being driven by the State of California. I'd love to see how many votes that arrangement would get if it was proposed in legislation.
"Our bipartisan disapproval resolution presents an opportunity to stop the worst option for regulating greenhouse gases from moving forward while we work on a more responsible solution. And we need only look back to the development of the Clean Air Act itself to see how that process can, and should, work. The product of both presidential leadership and congressional unity, the 1970 Clean Air Act was passed unanimously by the Senate.
"I hope we will all take note of that example, because right now, the administration and some members of Congress are choosing a different and more dangerous path. Threatening to disrupt our nation's economy until we pass a bill by the slimmest of margins, regardless of its merits, won't be much of an accomplishment. Nor is that approach worthy of the institutions and people we serve. It isn't appropriate for a challenge of this magnitude. No policy that results from it will achieve our common goals or stand the test of time.
"Today is the day for the Senate to take the threat of the EPA climate regulations off the table once and for all. This is about jobs and our economy and how Congress will choose to promote both. By passing our bipartisan disapproval resolution, we can return the debate over climate policy to its rightful home, here in Congress, where duly-elected representatives can represent the best interests of their constituents."
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