Senate Environment Committee Dems to colleagues: Don’t block EPA emissions rules

Murkowski is planning to introduce a resolution blocking the endangerment finding under the rarely used Congressional Review Act that allows Congress to overturn federal agency rules. The resolution would be referred to the Environment Committee, but can be discharged and brought to the floor with a petition by 30 members, which Murkowski could easily assemble.

The measure could not be filibustered on the Senate floor. But Murkowski would nonetheless face a difficult path even if the resolution passed the full Senate – which it might – because House action would be needed and a White House veto would loom.

The letter also urges members to oppose other amendments that would prevent EPA from moving ahead with emissions rules. Murkowski may offer a separate amendment to block EPA emissions rules when the Senate debates a further increase in the debt ceiling later this month.

Murkowski has previously sought to prevent EPA from regulating heat-trapping emissions from stationary sources, but her current strategy remains uncertain, Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon said.

“If she doesn’t do the amendment [on the debt ceiling bill] for whatever reason, it will be an amendment on something else, or more likely the disapproval resolution,” Dillon said early Tuesday afternoon. “There will be some effort to stop the EPA. We are just not sure what vehicle it will take.” He added that Murkowski could elect to pursue both tracks.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Murkowski is likely to delay her plan to offer the amendment during the Jan. 20 debate on the debt ceiling.