WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is firing back at the Environmental Protection Agency, which opposed her move last month to limit its ability to move forward with the regulation of some greenhouse gas emissions.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Murkowski said she was writing to express her "considerable disappointment" over how the EPA handled her move to restrict its ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, factories and other stationary sources of pollution.
In the letter, she complains that the EPA failed to get back to her staff on several issues, but went out of its way to talk to some of the industries the agency regulates about the potential consequences of Murkowski's proposal. In her letter to Jackson, she asks for a complete list of all individuals and businesses that were contacted by EPA staff "about the potential impacts of my amendment."
"These unsolicited contacts with entities regulated by the EPA are particularly concerning, not only because your staff failed to reply to my explicit request for a discussion of the amendment itself, but also because I strongly disagree with your agency's assessment of the impact that amendment would have had," Murkowski wrote.
The agency is currently reviewing Murkowski's letter, and will respond to her "in a timely manner," a spokeswoman said.
Murkowski's proposal would've forbidden the EPA from working to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and large manufacturers -- even as the Senate continues to work on its own global warming proposal. It wouldn't have prohibited the agency from continuing work on emission standards from mobile sources, such as automobile emissions.
If Congress doesn't act on legislation to cap emissions, the work the EPA is doing could emerge as the standard. The House of Representatives has passed legislation that would cap greenhouse gas emissions and create a market for trading pollution credits; a Senate committee released its proposal climate change bill last week.
Although Murkowski says she agrees emissions need to be curtailed, she said she didn't believe the EPA, acting under the authority of the Clean Air Act, is the proper agency to do so.