Thank you for contacting me about attempts in Congress to limit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. I appreciate that you took the time to share your specific concerns with me about this particular issue.
As you may know, on April 2, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas pollution under the provisions of the Clean Air Act. EPA has been working since then to develop appropriate regulations, including the release of a required finding that says excessive greenhouse gas pollution represents a danger to human health. On January 21, 2010, Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a rarely-used Senate measure known as a disapproval resolution that would retroactively veto EPA’s endangerment finding, but only if it is approved by the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and signed by the President. The resolution would effectively prevent EPA from issuing any regulations governing greenhouse gas pollution. As the Senate debates Senator Murkowski’s resolution, you can be sure that your concerns will help guide the decisions I make.
Though they continue to pursue a regulatory solution, EPA and the Obama Administration have stated repeatedly their strong preference for a legislative solution to greenhouse gas pollution. I agree with President Obama that Congress should address the problems associated with climate change, though I also believe it is important at this point to keep executive branch regulations on the table. A legislative solution provides the flexibility necessary for Congress to produce a comprehensive clean energy solution that will create American jobs, improve national security, help the environment, and place America at the forefront of the next great global revolution – the clean energy revolution.
That is why I support a comprehensive energy plan, which should include responsible drilling for oil and natural gas, fast-tracking renewable energy sources and energy efficiency technology, and safely expanding nuclear power. I also strongly believe that comprehensive energy legislation should include a federal renewable electricity standard like the one we have in Colorado. Finally, we must act to address the threats posed by greenhouse gas pollution – the legislation should include a limit on carbon, and we must find ways to adapt to our changing climate.
I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Coloradans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Colorado and the nation. My job is not about merely supporting or opposing legislation; it is also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation’s politics. For more information about my positions and to learn how my office can assist you, please visit my website at www.markudall.senate.gov.
U.S. Senator, Colorado