Murkowski Resolution on Endangerment: Separating the Reality from the Spin

by Marlo Lewis on January 25, 2010

Last Thursday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced a resolution of disapproval, under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), to overturn EPA’s endangerment finding. Murkowski’s floor statement and a press release are available here.

As you’d expect, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and other apostles of Gorethodoxy were quick to condemn the resolution as an attack on the Clean Air Act, science, public health, and the children.

Rubbish!

At a press conference she organized on the same day the resolution was introduced, Boxer and others tried to spin the Murkowski resolution as a referendum on science – as if Congress, King Canute-fashion, could alter the results of scientific research.  

A strong case can be made that the endangerment finding is scientifically-challenged. But that’s not what the Murkowski resolution is about.

As the Senator made clear in her floor statement, and as you can see from the text, the resolution is a referendum on the propriety of EPA taking control of the economy without so much as a by-your-leave from the people’s elected representatives. The Murkowski resolution vetoes the endangerment finding’s regulatory force and legal effect, not its intellectual content.

EPA’s endangerment finding, as I explain in this column on Pajamas Media, would launch an era of runaway regulation without representation. The Murkowski resolution is a gutsy action to safeguard the economy, government’s accountability to the people, and the separation of powers under the Constitution.

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