Senate Resolution to Strip EPA of Power to Regulate Climate Change Pollution is Defeated

Today (10 June 2010), the Senate voted to defeat Senate Joint Resolution 26, sponsored by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, which sought to strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its authority to regulate dangerous greenhouse gasses.  (To learn more about the resolution and the EPA authority, see Clean Air Act Under Attack). See Video and Transcript of Senate Debate on Murkowski Resolution to Veto EPA's Science-Based Climate Change Findings (WWF Climate Change Blog, 12 June 2010).

This is a major victory for proponents of a climate and energy bill. While this measure was mostly symbolic—unlikely to pass the House and certain to be vetoed by the President—its defeat is a victory for science against politics and demonstrates a path forward for comprehensive climate and energy legislation in the Senate.

"Today, the Senate rightly rejected a proposal to overturn science and replace it with politics. The resolution offered by Senator Murkowski would have undermined the authority of the EPA and its ability to protect the health and welfare of the American people. That the Senate would even consider taking such a step when the nation is facing the most destructive environmental disaster in its history, is nothing less than outrageous. The last thing the senators should be doing at this moment is attempting to weaken longstanding environmental laws. I commend those senators who voted to preserve the role of science in critically important environmental decisions, and I urge all senators to now refocus their time and energy on real solutions to our current challenges” stated Russell Train, WWF’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus, and EPA administrator during the Nixon and Ford administrations.

Lou Leonard, WWF’s Director of US Climate Policy states:

“Only in Washington could the Senate waste precious time debating the basic science of climate change on the same day that NASA announced the warmest spring in recorded history.  But this vote should finally allow us to move on from political attacks on science to creating solutions that break our addiction to oil and other dirty fuels and move America to a clean energy economy.”

Even many of those who supported the Murkowski amendment agreed today that Congress must act to reduce carbon pollution.  The strong support for Senate action heard from both sides today is a definitive signal to Senators meeting next week to determine the final direction of a climate and clean energy bill that they can move forward secure in the knowledge that a solid majority of the Senate supports a comprehensive climate and energy package that limits fossil fuel pollution and leads America to a clean energy future.”

The final vote count was 47 in favor of stripping the EPA of its authority and 53 against. To see how your Senator voted, click here.  

To see what else Russ Train and Lou Leonard have to say on the resolution, see WWF's press release, WWF Hails Defeat of Senate Resolution to Strip EPA of Power to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions.


How you can help: The Senate is set to debate and vote on a climate & energy bill in the final weeks of July or early August (2010). Call your Senators and ask them to vote YES on a climate & energy bill that limits fossil fuel pollution.

Online WWF Resources Regarding U.S. Climate & Energy Policy:

Also Online:

Video and Transcript of Senate Debate on Murkowski Resolution to Veto EPA's Science-Based Climate Change Findings.  WWF Climate Change Blog, 12 June 2010.

Statement by the President on Senator Murkowski's Resolution of Disapproval, S.J. Res. 26.  From the White House, Office of the Press Secretary (10 June 2010).

Senator Boxer Applauds Senate Vote For Science, Health, Jobs and National Security.  Press release (10 June 2010) from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.


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