Republicans work to block EPA carbon rules
By Ayesha Rascoe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers said on Thursday they would try to block a Environmental Protection Agency proposal that opens the door to federal regulation of planet-warming gases.
Last week, the EPA issued a ruling that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health, clearing the way for the agency to regulate carbon without congressional legislation.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is leading an effort in the chamber to overturn the finding through a rarely used joint resolution of disapproval.
Getting the proposal passed will be a heavy lift, since Republicans are a minority in both the House and Senate. The resolution requires the approval of both chambers and President Barack Obama.
Some Democrats have also expressed concerns about the EPA regulating carbon.
Advancing climate policy through regulation "is not the best tool," Murkowski told reporters on Thursday at a briefing held by Energy Daily. "In fact, most would say it is the worst tool we could be using."
Murkowski and other critics of the EPA's finding say it would cause substantial damage to the economy by burdening businesses with additional costs.
Murkowski's resolution has picked up support from other Republicans in the Senate and a similar effort is being taken up by Republicans in the House.
"We're not going to allow the executive branch, through the Environmental Protection Agency ... to appropriate to themselves the power to make laws that govern the people of the United States without the United States Congress acting in this area as well," Republican Senator Jon Kyl said at the briefing.
Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, head of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, decried the plan to block the endangerment finding.
"Debating over policy about unchecked global warming is fair, but repealing an endangerment finding based upon years of work by America's leading scientists and public health experts is radical in the extreme," Boxer said.
(Editing by Peter Cooney)
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