Sen. Boxer now compares Sen. Murkowski’s resolution to an attempt to repeal the Surgeon General’s famous report in 1964 linking cigarette smoking to cancer.
She ignores the fact that the Surgeon General’s report was purely an assessment of the medical literature. It had no legal force and effect. Indeed, the Surgeon General’s report did not even provide policy recommendations.
If EPA’s endangerment finding were simply one agency’s review of the scientific literature, the Senate would not have any business voting on it either. However, unlike the Surgeon General’s report, the endangerment finding is both trigger and precedent for policy changes potentially affecting millions of businesses and homes and trillions of dollars in cumulative GDP.
Congress never intended for the Clean Air Act to be a framework for climate policy, never voted for EPA to use the Act as such a framework, and never signed off on the far-reaching regulatory cascade the endangerment finding triggers.
Therefore it is entirely proper for the Senate to debate and vote on the “legal force and effect” of the endangerment finding. Indeed, overturning the endangerment finding is a constitutional imperative.