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Senate Fight over EPA Resolution to Resume

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski objects to the EPA's authority and believes that Congress should set such standards instead of the Executive Branch. Courtesy of Alaska Republicans

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The Senate will return to a pivotal, long-simmering debate over the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases. The debate will center in a vote on a disapproval resolution by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would block the EPA from enforcing emissions rules under the Clean Air Act.

Although the resolution is not expected to pass, Murkowski is bringing the resolution forward under the Congressional Review Act, which prevents any filibusters and only requires 51 votes for passage. Murkowski's measure has 41 formal co-sponsors, including Democratic senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) told The Hill that Murkowski's resolution is a distraction. Thus the debate rages on between environmental concerns and the need for construction and development, with the landscape professional caught in the middle.

Even if the resolution somehow squeezes through the Senate, it is unlikely to pass the House and would face a certain veto by President Barack Obama. Still, the possibility of even a close vote could prove embarrassing to Senate Democrats, just weeks before Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Kerry plan to bring climate change legislation to the Senate floor.

Specifically, Murkowski's measure would veto the EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases under the endangerment finding it issued last December. That finding would lead to regulations that will ultimately endanger job creation, economic growth and America's competitiveness, according to Murkowski. Some by congressional Democrats would prefer legislative action instead.

- Courtesy of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute


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February 26, 2020, 9:31 pm PDT

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