Murkowski’s EPA Block Gains More Dem Support

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announed on the Senate floor on Thurday that she will seek to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases using an obscure parliamentary maneuver called a resolution of disapproval. Last month, the EPA finalized its finding that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare, triggering regulation of these emissions under the Clean Air Act. Murkowski’s resolution would block the EPA from writing any such rules. Her effort has 35 GOP cosponsors and three Democratic cosponsors: Sens. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia has also expressed support.

In her speech, Murkowski protested what she called “back door climate regulations with no input from Congress.” The endangerment finding, she said, “is not merely a finding, it’s a floodgate” that would “wash over and further submerge our economy.” Lincoln issued a statement Thursday morning expressing concerns about the economic fallout of of EPA regulations, and instead proposed that the US reduce emissions by “bipartisan clean energy legislation produced by the Senate Energy Committee,” combined with energy tax incentives.

A resolution of disapproval needs only 51 votes to pass, and the Democratic support moves Murkowski closer to that number. Sill, advocates of climate legislation aren’t too concerned that her bill would actually become law—the House and the President would both likely reject it. But environmentalists are worried that if a bloc of Democrats votes to prevent EPA action on carbon emissions, this could damage the political prospects for a climate bill in the Senate later in the year.

Murkowski might not have the support of all Republicans in her effort, however. Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are notably not among the cosponsors. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is a cosponsor, but has also very publically supported passing legislation this year, and is working with John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on a bill.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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