Posts Tagged ‘Senator Lisa Murkowski’

With climate legislation held up in the Senate and the Copenhagen climate talks’ failure to produce a binding, international agreement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has emerged as the critical agency in regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Through application of the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the authority to curb climate change. Unfortunately, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and lobbyists for some of the biggest polluters in the country have other plans for the Clean Air Act.

Tomorrow, Senator Murkowski is planning to introduce an amendment that would halt the EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act and undermine one of our most important environmental laws.

We know that big energy likes the amendment, since they helped draft it. In the Washington Post, a lobbyist for energy giants like Southern Co. and Duke Energy, Jeff Holmsted, admitted to working with Murkowski’s staff on the exact language of the amendment.This is after Senator Murkowski received more than $124,500 from Holmsted’s clients.

Don’t let Big Energy write the law to pollute more! Tell your Senator to protect the Clean Air Act.

The Murkowski amendment seeks to reverse the EPA’s critical finding that greenhouse gas pollution endangers public health. The endangerment finding triggers the Clean Air Act and prompts the EPA to take the first step toward curbing climate change pollution.

Murkowski’s attempt to eviscerate our best existing tool for reducing greenhouse gas pollution not only threatens our ability to reduce the carbon in our atmosphere, but also serves as another shameful example of the role Big Polluters are playing in stalling climate change action.

Please act today to tell the Senate we need the Clean Air Act to curb global warming, and to oppose the attempts of Murkowski and Big Polluters to gut the Act.

Thank you for all you do!


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has circulated a draft amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill—the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual spending bill—calling to prevent the Agency from regulating stationary sources of greenhouse gases, despite a mandate from the US Supreme Court two years ago to do just that.

The amendment would ignore worldwide scientific consensus that indicates carbon dioxide emissions from both stationary and mobile sources as a major threat to public health and welfare.  Logic, science, and the law agree!  Global warming pollution from power plants and oil refineries is just as harmful as that from cars and other passenger vehicles.  According to major scientific bodies, such as the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, carbon dioxide emissions—no matter what its source may be—are warming the planet, as well as threatening public health and the welfare of our citizens.

Furthermore, the Murkowski amendment would severely undermine the Clean Air Act’s provisions to protect public health and the environment.  Oil refineries and coal plants are among the biggest global warming polluters in the nation.  The amendment would let these big players off the hook, delaying any momentum our nation has in transitioning to sources of clean energy.  If the amendment is rejected, our ongoing shift toward solar and wind energy will drastically benefit our nation, providing a continuous and cleaner supply of energy that will only get cheaper over time, while creating millions of clean energy jobs.

The United States is the single largest producer of harmful gases, with China and India following closely behind. China has even surpassed the US at times in CO2 emissions, although with the current economic recession it’s tough to know who is winning, or should we say losing, the carbon pollution race. Our nation alone contributes nearly 25 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions each year. It is feared that the amendment would make a loud statement heard across the world; one that says the U.S. is not serious about reducing and controlling its global warming pollution, giving developing countries a ‘get out of jail free’ card when it comes to reducing their own carbon emissions.  This could be devastating to international negotiations slated to take place in Copenhagen in December to create a framework to follow up to the Kyoto Protocol.

Lastly, the Murkowski amendment could inevitably prevent the EPA from preparing to implement climate legislation.  The Agency would be prohibited from collecting information and expertise it may need to effectively implement climate change legislation, such as the carbon-capture-and-sequestration bonus allowance program, free allowances for energy-intensive manufacturers, or early-offset programs.

If Murkowski gets her way, we could see a vote this week.  This is the wrong message for our Senators to send, who should not be trying to overturn a Supreme Court ruling and impede international climate negotiations through dirty tricks playing with the budgets of federal agencies.

Click here to see a general action alert by the Sierra Club and more reporting on this by the New York Times.

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