Governors, business groups back Murkowski's EPA resolution

Twenty US governors and 107 business groups, including 12 national and regional oil and gas associations and 24 state petroleum councils and associations, separately expressed support on Mar. 10 for US Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alas.) expected US Environmental Protection Agency disapproval resolution.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 11 -- Twenty US governors and 107 business groups, including 12 national and regional oil and gas associations and 24 state petroleum councils and associations, separately expressed support on Mar. 10 for US Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alas.) expected US Environmental Protection Agency disapproval resolution.

“EPA’s proposal will only result in energy costing more and Americans having fewer energy options,” said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), who signed the governors’ letter with 19 other states and territories’ chief executives. “We should be trying to create more affordable American energy and avoid actions that will increase the cost of electricity, gasoline, and other goods for families and businesses. EPA’s proposal is bad for the US economy and should be stopped.”

Two Democrats, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Steven L. Beshear of Kentucky, and 18 Republicans signed the governors’ letter. “EPA is not equipped to consider the very real potential for economic harm when regulating [greenhouse gas] emissions,” it warned. “Without that consideration, regulation will place heavy administrative burdens on state environmental quality agencies, will be costly to consumers, and could be devastating to the economy and jobs.”

Murkowski, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s ranking minority member, said on Jan. 21 that she planned to offer a resolution disapproving EPA’s effort to begin regulating GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act after issuing an endangerment finding on Dec. 7. The agency has said that it is responding to a 2007 US Supreme Court decision. Three Democrats and 35 Republicans are cosponsoring her measure. Opponents say that it and a similar bill in the House would create a dangerous precedent of using legislation to overturn a regulatory agency’s decision that is based on scientific findings.

“With its endangerment finding, EPA has begun the process of imposing costly, burdensome, job-killing regulations on large chunks of the American economy,” R. Bruce Josten, executive vice-president for government affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, said on Mar. 11. “There is now no question that EPA plans to regulate both large and small businesses. Unlike a bill drafted by Congress to specifically address this issue, the existing statutes are not structured to handle greenhouse gases in a way that recognizes regional differences, the state of the technology, and economic impact.”

Oil and gas associations signing the business groups’ letter ranged from the American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Natural Gas Supply Association, and other national organizations to petroleum councils and associations in Wisconsin, Ohio, Montana, Illinois, Alabama, and 19 other states.

The two letters demonstrate growing public opposition to EPA’s effort to regulate GHGs under the CAA, Murkowski said on Mar. 10. “As more and more stakeholders take a closer look at EPA’s attempts the emissions blamed for climate change, they’re recognizing that those actions will cause economic harm and job losses at a time we can afford neither,” she said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in Government