Let's take U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski at her word about why she pushed a controversial proposal to limit EPA's work on new rules for carbon dioxide emissions from stationary sources, such as power plants and factories. She agrees the nation needs to act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gas pollution. But she says the existing Clean Air Act is ill-suited to deal with carbon dioxide emissions from anything other than vehicles. This is a job for Congress, not the federal bureaucracy, she says. Otherwise, she says, upwards of a million buildings in the country might have to be regulated for their CO2 emissions.
And that may well be an accurate analysis — even though EPA says it would exempt most buildings from any CO2 controls.
But it's not as if the greenhouse gas pollution issue just landed on the congressional agenda. Congress has had years to pass legislation curbing pollution that speeds up the warming of our planet. The very concern Sen. Murkowski brought up this week in the Senate was first raised by the Bush administration a year and a half ago.
In fact, congressional movement on greenhouse gas pollution has been stymied by those who deny the huge body of scientific evidence that human activity contributes to global warming. Others are peddling claims that greenhouse gas pollution control will inevitably push the nation and world into economic ruin.
Those opponents have been helped along by big economic interests that will have to make big changes if greenhouse gas controls go into effect. Those interests have invested a lot of money in congressional candidates and lobbying to prevent Congress from doing anything on the issue.
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