WASHINGTON - The Senate will vote next month on whether to take back the Environmental Protection Agencyï¿½ï¿½s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, Congressional Quarterly reports. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Democrats came to an understanding for a vote by June 10 on her resolution (S.J. Res 26) that would void a few of the rules EPA issued to control greenhouse gas emissions under the umbrella of the Clean Air Act.
She used procedures in the Congressional Review Act to make the Senate decide on whether to annul the endangerment finding. In the House, similar legislation, H.J. Res. 77, has been introduced.
A unanimous consent agreement will move the vote to the floor. Senators come back from the Memorial Day recess on Monday, June 7, so Murkowskiï¿½ï¿½s deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) provides her with some extra days to gather support.
This resolution by the ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee has been seen as threatening to the climate bill from Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) that has had trouble getting off the ground. However, whether Murkowski can come up with the 51 necessary votes to approve the resolution is far from certain.
"Youï¿½ï¿½ve got an economy in terrible shape, and an agency that decides to make onerous new rules by fiat that are going to harm the economy further," said Robert Dillon, Murkowskiï¿½ï¿½s spokesman. "If Democrats think this is the right move for the economy, they should be proud to openly vote in favor of EPA regulation."
The resolution would reverse the EPAï¿½ï¿½s finding that six gases, including methane and carbon dioxide, are dangerous to the environment and health of Americans.