Sen. Murkowski may offer EPA rule delay to small-business bill

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) may offer a plan from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) to delay EPA regulations of greenhouse gases for power plants and refineries for two years as an amendment to a small-business package. 

“We’re looking at it,” Murkowski told The Hill Wednesday.

Murkowski said that it would be more natural to offer Rockefeller’s amendment to an upcoming oil-spill response and energy package, but that “it doesn’t look like we’ll have any opportunity to have any amendments [to that package]. Which I find quite stunning.”

“So at this point in time, I’m helping the majority leader keep his commitment to bringing the Rockefeller bill up for a vote.”
 
A White House official said Wednesday that President Obama would veto the Rockefeller bill if it reached his desk.

House coal-state Democratic Reps. Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Rick Boucher (Va.) and Alan Mollohan (W.Va.) have introduced a House version of Rockefeller’s two-year delay. That may earn more supporters, given that the odds have slimmed for the Senate to be able to tackle the issue legislatively before the regulations hit large power plants next year.
 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has promised Rockefeller his plan would be considered this year, but is expected to limit amendments to the spill and energy package that would be deemed controversial.
 
Reid said Tuesday they would address the amendment issue depending on an initial procedural vote on the measure expected by early next week. 

“We’re going to have a vote to proceed on energy and then we’ll see what happens,” Reid said.