FAIRBANKS - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the leading sponsor of a resolution that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
The Alaska Republican said the EPA regulation of carbon dioxide would have a negative economic impact on her constituents by threatening projects such as the construction of a natural gas pipeline.
"There has been a great deal of misinformation spread about my effort by groups - almost all of which are based outside of Alaska - who want to cut the emissions blamed for climate change no matter what the cost," Murkowski said in a statement.
The resolution, which has 40 co-sponsors, is scheduled for 10 hours of debate Thursday on the Senate floor. Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon said the resolution is not about debating the science behind climate change; rather, it's about stopping an "out of control" government agency.
Even if the resolution gets through the Senate, it is expected to have a much harder time in the House.
Three Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, is not one of them.
Begich spokesman Max Croes said the senator received assurances that the agency will not begin regulating large greenhouse gas emitters until late 2011, and those that put less than 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the air will not be regulated until 2016 at the earliest.
"In the long run, EPA regulation will not be the most cost-effective way of addressing the problem," Croes said. "The timeline presented by the administrator allows Congress to make considered decisions to balance climate change remedies with their effect on our economy. (Begich) supports congressional legislation which can more effectively balance these two concerns."
Dillon contends even delayed regulation would hurt the economy. And, he added, the U.S. acting alone can do little to stop global warming.
"The key is that it has to be global," he said. "Unless every country agrees to cut emissions, it doesn't matter we do as a country."
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