By a vote of 53-47, the Senate today rejected a resolution to gut the Clean Air Act, and strip the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate the greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change.
The oil that continues to gush from seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico is a grim reminder of what our addiction to oil is costing us. Lost jobs in the fishing industry, lost protection of coastal marshes and the wildlife they harbor, and a lost way of life for thousands of Americans along the Gulf coast all result from the dogged pursuit of a fuel source that pollutes our coasts, and our communities, our water, and our air.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has announced that as soon as the Senate returns from the Memorial Day break she will force a vote on a resolution to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from capping global warming pollution. That’s odd. As the public is waiting to see how the government will respond to the most massive oil spill in our history, an oozing killer that is turning Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican, into the black pelican, it appears that Murkowski is asking for more of the same.
Can you believe it? While still awash in their own negligence and mismanagement, the Big Oil companies are backing Senate action that amounts to nothing less than a bailout for this dirty industry. The Senate may soon vote to exempt Big Oil from regulation when just the opposite is needed!
A few weeks ago I discussed a pending threat from Sen. Murkowski, and it looks like time is short. As you’ll recall, this should-be/ would-be climate champ is leading the charge to prevent the EPA from moving ahead on climate action. This is especially disconcerting, considering her home state of Alaska is feeling and will continue to feel the impacts of climate change far more than most places — just ask folks in Shishmaref and other towns falling into the sea!
Remember “Connect the Dots”? Those pages of seemingly random points that, when connected properly, formed a picture? Well, I’ve been reminded of this game while watching the Murkowski “Dirty Air Act” episode unfold.
In their push to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development, Alaska’s Congressional delegation, it seems, will try just about anything. Last month, Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced legislation that would allow directional drilling into the refuge, a plan she claims would have no surface impacts. In this television news story from Anchorage, The Wilderness Society’s Alaska Regional Director Eleanor Huffines explains why this isn’t so.