Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) cosponsors Dirty Air Act
That’s Sen. Lisa “fiddle while Nome burns” Murkowski defending her Dirty Air Amendment. And yes, I can’t decide what the best nickname for her is. If you’re known by your accomplishments, then it could be Lisa “top fundraiser from utility industry” Murkowski.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has a terrific response on Grist, “An argument against Murkowski’s radical attempt to overrule EPA scientists“:
Today one of my Republican colleagues introduced a proposal to brazenly overturn sound scientific work done by our nation’s leading public health experts and prohibit the Environment Protection Agency from doing its job to protect the health and welfare of the American people. This extremely damaging proposal is a political stunt designed to effectively strip the EPA’s power to curb harmful air pollution.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) proposal takes the form of a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act. It is so extreme that it would legally overturn scientists’ very conclusion, based on decades of scientific study, that greenhouse-gas emissions threaten public health and the environment, and it would have the effect of prohibiting the EPA from making the same conclusion in the future. It could block any action by the EPA to protect our families, our communities, and our economy from greenhouse-gas pollution.
This resolution represents an irresponsible attempt to take away the power of an independent agency whose sole purpose is to protect the health of our families, friends, and neighbors and the environment we live in.
Imagine if Congress always put the interests of polluters ahead of the health of our families. Our rivers and lakes would be choked with sewage. Acid rain would pour down from smog-filled skies. Hundreds of thousands more of our neighbors, friends, and loved ones would be victims of cancer, heart disease, and asthma. President Nixon””Nixon!””signed the EPA into law because even Republicans recognized that unchecked pollution was poisoning our people.
This resolution is a return to that polluter-first approach that even President Nixon found intolerable.
Decades of scientific research has proven that carbon pollution is harmful to human health and causes global warming. The EPA’s endangerment finding””as required by the Clean Air Act””found that carbon pollution endangers the health of millions of American families and future generations. This resolution would block the EPA’s ability to regulate unsafe air pollution and would continue to allow our nation’s considerable contribution to global warming to go unchecked. What’s worse, this resolution aims to politicize an independent agency and prevent it from protecting the health of our citizens and our communities.
While supporters of this misguided resolution try to tout its supposed positive impact for our economy, it would actually harm our economy by helping maintain our dependence on foreign oil, hamstringing EPA’s ability to promote clean energy options, and negatively impacting our nation’s clean energy jobs industry. This resolution encourages big polluters to continue polluting, and discourages one of the fastest-growing industries in America: clean energy. Continuing on the path of spending billions of dollars a day to import foreign oil rather than make significant progress transforming our energy economy and developing American-made renewable energy is a deeply flawed approach.
Plainly put, this dangerous resolution has the best interest of big energy industries in mind, not the health and welfare of the American people or our environment, and not the clean energy job creation we urgently need right now. Because this extreme resolution only needs a simple majority to pass, we need you to speak out. Please consider calling your senators and urging them to put the health of our citizens before politics and vote against this harmful resolution.
Sadly, not all of Merkley’s fellow Democrats can hear him. Mary Landrieu of Katrina-ravaged, sea-rise-threatened Louisiana is a Murky cosponsor, and, as Wonk Room reports, so is Blanche Lincoln:
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) announced today she is co-sponsoring Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution of disapproval to block regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act:
I am very concerned about the burden that EPA regulation of carbon emissions could put on our economy and have questions about the actual benefit EPA regulations would have on the environment. Heavy-handed EPA regulation, as well as the current cap and trade bills in Congress, will cost us jobs and put us at an even greater competitive disadvantage to China, India and others.
Like Murkowski and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln is demonstrating a shocking disregard for her state’s interests, the health of her constituents, and a misunderstanding of why America has been losing jobs to China and India. Her support for the Dirty Air Act is an act of allegiance to polluters.
The entire state of Arkansas is a disaster area because of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from record rainfall that occurred throughout 2009. As warming continues, Arkansas’ climate will become even more disastrous “” something Lincoln as the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee should understand.
China has already forged ahead with building its own low-carbon economy, laying the foundation for clean-energy jobs and innovation, with a command-and-control economy combined with massive public investment. As venture capitalist John Doerr and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt warn, “China’s commitment to developing clean energy technologies and markets is breathtaking,” but:
Right now, the United States has no long-term market signal to tell companies and consumers that it values low-carbon energy. It has no policies to discourage sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas for energy. It does not offer adequate sustained R&D funding to be a serious competitor in this huge business.
Denying the science of global warming will prevent the United States from being competitive in the future “” something Lincoln should understand.
It seems pretty clear what Lincoln is capable of understanding.
UDPATE: The full text of Senate Joint Resolution 26 (the Dirty Air Act) has been submitted. Three Democrats (Landrieu, Lincoln, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska) joined every Republican except for Collins & Snowe of Maine, DeMint (SC), and Ensign (NV) in co-sponsoring the resolution, which would overturn the Supreme Court-mandated and science-based endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.