Washington is one of the states that sued the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) for not being tough enough on tailpipe emission standards.
So when the federal agency determined last year that carbon pollution is
a public health threat, Washington and a dozen other states considered
it a victory.
Today, however, the U.S. Senate debates a resolution that would stop the
EPA from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
Beth Doglio, with the Northwest group Climate Solutions, thinks
the Alaska senator who introduced it is buying time to avoid taking up a
more comprehensive federal climate policy.
"It's a diversion tactic; it has been more successful than I ever
thought it could be. And it's a shame, when what we really need to be
doing is passing a federal climate bill and weaning ourselves off fossil
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says her amendment (S.J. Res. 26) will
protect important industries and jobs from being regulated out of
Doglio says whatever the outcome, the debate could at least put the
topic of a national energy policy at the forefront again in Congress.
"The U.S. Senate has been sitting on this for months and months and
months; the House passed 'ACES' back in June. I think this is going to
be a precursor to what we could do in the U.S. Senate to actually pass a
federal climate bill."
ACES (HR 2454) is the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the House
version of a national climate and energy policy.
Sens. Cantwell and Murray have already said they will vote against the
Murkowski amendment, along with both Oregon senators. The Senate has
scheduled six hours of debate and is expected to vote on the measure