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Senate takes historic vote on EPA carbon grab

Enzi warns that outcome will negatively impact all businesses

June 10, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Following months of debate and political wrangling, a bipartisan group of senators received an up or down vote to stop overreaching actions by the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
Unfortunately, the Senate voted against a resolution disapproving the EPA’s overreach by a vote of 47-53. The failure of the resolution of disapproval allows the EPA to continue their plans to regulate carbon emissions.
 
“This carbon grab by the EPA flies in the face of the legislative intent of the Clean Air Act which was never intended to regulate carbon. Yet the EPA and others in the Administration are moving forward with drastic attempts to over regulate anyway,” said Enzi. “The Clean Air Act is not the EPA’s regulatory Swiss Army knife. The Administrator herself has said the legislation is not intended to regulate greenhouse gases, yet she is attempting to impose a new national energy tax without any consent from Congress.”
 
Prior to the vote Enzi spoke to his colleagues on the Senate floor encouraging them to stop the EPA from overreaching its bounds and to allow Congress to decide climate policy, not unelected bureaucrats.
 
 “Where will the regulation stop? I’m not sure anyone knows for sure. The unintended consequences that will stem from the EPA regulating a substance that humans and plants need to survive are astronomical. The EPA’s rules won’t just apply to big power plants or industrial factories. Cattle, human breathing, hotels, restaurants, churches - all of these produce carbon and there are no assurances that this regulation won’t extend to all of those areas of our lives,” said Enzi.
 
Economic Consequences
 
Enzi stressed the point that carbon regulation could impact the economy and jobs.
 
“Our economy lost eight million jobs over the past two years and unemployment is still almost 10 percent. The last thing our economy needs and the last thing businesses can afford is an EPA choke hold. According to the EPA, the average cost of compliance for Clean Air Act permits is more than $125,000. That’s $125,000 that will not be used to hire new employees. It is $125,000 that will not be spent on businesses expansion. Unless the EPA stops this overreach, businesses across the country will be facing the harshest and most expensive regulations they have ever seen,” said Enzi.
 
Background
 
In December, the EPA announced that six greenhouses gases, including carbon dioxide, were a danger to public health and welfare and that the Agency would use the Clean Air Act as authority to regulate those gases. Following the EPA endangerment finding U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Ala., introduced a resolution of disapproval, S.J. Res. 26, to prevent the EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions. Under the Congressional Review Act of 1996, Congress has the opportunity to veto rules and regulations developed by federal agencies.
 
For Enzi’s full statement, click here.