E2-Wire

Obama threatens to veto Murkowski climate plan as lobbying intensifies

President Barack Obama on Tuesday threatened to veto Sen. Lisa
Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) resolution that would overturn EPA’s power to
regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

“[I]t would increase the
Nation’s dependence on oil and other fossil fuels and block efforts to
cut pollution that threatens our health and well-being,” the White House
said in a Statement of Administration Policy on the measure.

The
statement, in
sync with the political messaging of Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D-Nev.)
and liberal
advocates
, ties the Murkowski plan to the ongoing Gulf of Mexico
crisis, claiming it would “undermine the Administration’s efforts to
reduce the negative impacts of pollution and the risks associated with
environmental catastrophes, like the ongoing BP oil spill.”

The
statement also notes it would hinder the Environmental Protection
Agency’s ability to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, and defends
EPA regulation of large industrial emissions sources like power plants
and refineries that begins next year.

It says that Obama’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the measure.

Murkowski has 40 co-sponsors — including three centrist Democrats — for her resolution, slated for a Senate vote Thursday. The resolution, issued under the little-used Congressional Review Act, cannot be filibustered, but Murkowski nonetheless faces a tough climb to win a majority vote.

The administration has stepped up its efforts against the plan, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson bashed it in a Huffington Post op-ed Monday that also cites the oil spill as a reason not to block EPA’s powers.

As the White House was threatening a veto, Murkowski was touting the measure at a press conference in the Capitol with other GOP senators. “This resolution is about protecting the economy and preventing agency overreach,” she said.

Asked about corralling more Democratic supporters, Murkowski replied, “it is dependent on many of my colleagues on the other side who have said they agree” that having EPA
regulate greenhouse gases under its existing Clean Air Act powers is a bad option.

Murkowski is fearful that looming EPA rules will harm the economy and eventually reach small businesses, despite an agency plan to shield small emitters. She is also strongly criticizing Jackson’s op-ed against her plan.

“No other EPA administrator in history has been so singlehandedly responsible for misleading the public to advance her own political agenda as Lisa Jackson. Administrator Jackson’s mischaracterizations of Sen. Murkowski’s disapproval resolution offers a clear example of why unelected bureaucrats should not be allowed to set policy — especially not policy that could have a devastating impact on America’s economy,” said Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon in a statement.

Liberal and environmental groups are lobbying against the Murkowski plan, and representatives from several environmental organizations were roaming the Capitol Tuesday urging senators to oppose the measure. 

Tags Barack Obama Harry Reid
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