Keep the EPA Strong on Carbon Emissions
Congress should vote no on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) resolution of disapproval (S.J. Res 26), which would limit the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from businesses such as oil companies. Pro or con?
Pro: Polluters Need Oversight
I find it surprising that Senator Murkowski is moving forward with this resolution now—even as oil continues to devastate the Gulf of Mexico.
Not only could the resolution prolong our oil addiction by delaying America’s shift to cleaner energy, but it will also undermine one of the most effective tools for holding polluters accountable: the Clean Air Act.
Now is not the time to have faith in polluters’ ability to police themselves.
Yet despite all of BP’s (BP) broken promises about safety measures and cleanup efforts, Senator Murkowski thinks we should trust polluters to handle the problem of global warming, too. In fact, her resolution would void recent EPA efforts to reduce pollution, including new standards to cut carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency for new cars, SUVs, and light trucks—standards that will save billions of gallons of gasoline.
Murkowski’s resolution would knock the EPA rules out of the picture. And that means consumers will buy 19 billion gallons of gasoline and spend around $57 billion at the pump that they wouldn’t have to if the EPA retained its authority.
Instead of rejecting a measure that will save consumers money, senators should pass clean energy and climate legislation that retains the EPA’s ability to reduce pollution. This is the most effective way to cut pollution, protect our oceans, and reduce our dependence on oil.
Con: Don’t Rewrite the Clean Air Act
The Clean Air Act (CAA) is unsuited for regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and the EPA’s current rush to create new requirements on facilities’ GHGs only compounds the problem. Furthermore, because the EPA is essentially rewriting the CAA in an attempt to delay permitting millions of GHG sources, which only Congress can do, this action is likely illegal.
The EPA’s proposed solution to "tailor" the CAA does not solve the problem. While the tailoring rule delays the time when big-box stores, churches, malls, office buildings, and vast numbers of other facilities would fall under the intrusive, costly scope of the rule, it would not protect businesses from similarly stringent state GHG rules.
In fact, the actions companies would have to take to limit their GHG emissions and stay in business—or the cost of those actions—are unknown and yet to be defined by the EPA or the states. As a result, businesspeople are faced with a type of double jeopardy that threatens to increase sharply the cost of doing business and simultaneously delays job-creating investments needed to breathe life into our slowly recovering economy.
API supports Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval (S.J. Res 26) to prevent the EPA from establishing new national energy policy via regulations under the CAA, which was not designed to address GHGs. We urge the Senate to stop the EPA from implementing these GHG regulations, which could result in permits being delayed or blocked for business operations and expansions, killing jobs and hurting our economic recovery.