Republican Alaskan Sen. Lisa Murkowski proposed a resolution to strip the Environmental Protection Agency's power over regulating vehicles and industrial facilities. "The EPA intends to take control of climate policy, take it away from the Congress," Murkowski said at a press conference. "And I think those that are looking at this from the perspective of separate but equal branches of government look at this and say that this is absolutely unacceptable."
It is my opinion that this is a bad idea. The idea that moving such powers to congress essentially grants legislators the ability to further politicize important national policies. Murkowski's statement is far from the truth and only comes because the environment has become a highly politicized issue in the past several years, and with the influence of the Tea Party, has become under assault by the Republican party.
The EPA was established by President Richard Nixon in 1970 to protect human health and the environment and is led by an administrator, appointed by the president and approved by congress. The EPA essentially operates with congress' approval - taking power away from the EPA will essentially create a useless agency and put important national policies into the hot seat. Conservatives and some Democrats are caving into pressures from the right - those who do not believe in global climate change or feel American industries are being punished because they have to follow stricter environmental policies are to blame. It isn't surprising that this resolution comes from a senator from Alaska - politicians from the northern most state are pretty much in the pocket of Big Oil - just look at Sarah Palin.
If you would like a comparison, just consider, hypothetically speaking of course, what would happen if congress were to somehow strip the Supreme Court of it's power, and every legal matter was now in the hands of the elected officials. The potential for special interests to influence the decisions would be greater then before and imagine if legislators who were up for reelection had to make a decision on one side of an issue or another. Which side would they take?
Looking at this recent oil disaster and popular opinion, we can see how exactly public opinion sways legislators. Also consider the populist anger over executive pay and corporate bonuses after the economic meltdown and bailouts.
This resolution is dangerous. An important question to ask Murkowski is how exactly will she regulate vehicles and industry - keep in mind that she is a part of Alaskan royalty - Murkowski was appointed to the Senate by her father after he was elected to be Governor back in 2002. She also voted against a bill that would raise a cap on the financial liability an oil company has for oil spills. I am sure that Murkowski would do what is in the best interest of industry, not the nation. It's interesting that this resolution comes just almost two months from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Now how would the rest of those who are signing on the resolution vote?