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Opinion: Defeat of Murkowski Resolution Not End

H. Sterling Burnett posits that the measure brought reasserted "Congress' constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce."
June 16, 2010

WASHINGTON - Last week, the Senate defeated a resolution submitted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that disapproved of the Environmental Protection Agency��s (EPA) finding that greenhouse gas emissions threaten human well being and the environment.

"In doing so, Mrs. Murkowski, the entire Senate Republican caucus and the six Democrats who voted for the bill were doing no less than reasserting Congress�� constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce," wrote H. Sterling Burnett in the Washington Times. Burnett is a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Murkowski and her colleagues wanted that power to reside with elected officials, not with "unelected bureaucrats or judges" who would "decide if, when and how the United States should respond to the potential threat posed by global warming. President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] and the majority of the Democratic caucus disagreed, killing the bill."

Basically, President Obama is using the threat of EPA regulations to bully Congress into approving the biggest energy tax hike "in U.S. history under the guise of climate-change legislation. The president wants Congress to pass some version of a cap-and-trade climate bill under which gas and electricity prices would increase dramatically to force consumers to use less energy and thus reduce CO2 emissions."

Meanwhile, other legislative measures "to rein in or at least delay the EPA��s and the Obama administration��s regulatory power grab" are on the horizon. For example, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) has sponsored a measure that would "delay EPA greenhouse-gas regulations for stationary sources for two years."

On the House side, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has a bill that would "overturn the EPA��s authority to regulate greenhouse gasses. Her bill had 151 co-sponsors as of February." In addition, Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-TX) and Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) have also drafted legislation that would stop the agency from making climate rules.

Burnett concludes with "the words of the Competitive Enterprise Institute��s Myron Ebell: '[The Democrats] have voted to give EPA the authority to turn out the lights on America. They must now take full responsibility for the economic consequences of EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.��