Endangerment Finding Threatens Economic Recovery (Sen. Lisa Murowski)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday signed a pre-publication copy of a finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions present a danger to the public health and welfare. The finding means carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions can be regulated under the Clean Air Act by the EPA.

I am disappointed that the administration has chosen to act on its own. Global climate change is a serious problem and we should address it through well thought out legislation for that reason, not because of a threat that draconian regulations will be imposed by the administration.

Restricting greenhouse gas emissions will have serious implications for an already frail economy. The Clean Air Act was not designed to address greenhouse gas emissions, and is, at best, a very blunt instrument. Reducing emissions will be costly and using the Clean Air Act will make it even more expensive. If misused, the finding could impact every facet of the American economy.

Congress has already started the process of addressing the need to curb emissions and should be given sufficient time to thoroughly consider the benefits and risks of legislation.

Despite the administration’s assertions to the contrary, climate legislation poses a real threat to our economic recovery. Without a global agreement that includes China and other developing economies, emission restrictions could hamper American competitiveness.

Low-cost energy is essential to a healthy economy.  We saw the problems caused by high energy costs last year when the price of oil skyrocketed.  We need to reinvigorate the American economy, not further hamper it.

The EPA is currently holding a 60-day public comment period on the endangerment finding. It’s my hope that during that time the agency will come to appreciate the complexity of this issue and what’s at stake if they fail to act in a responsible way.

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