Statement of Marlo Lewis on S.J.Res.26, Sen. Murkowski’s resolution to overturn EPA’s endangerment finding

On Thursday (June 10, 2010), the Senate will vote on Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval (S.J.Res.26) to overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.  

The endangerment finding is both trigger and precedent for sweeping policy changes Congress never approved.

Tomorrow, I will speak in support of S.J.Res.26 at an 11:00 a.m. Capitol Hill press conference hosted by Americans for Prosperity. My prepared statement follows.

Prepared Statement of Marlo Lewis

Sen. Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval would stop EPA from ‘enacting’ controversial global warming policies through the regulatory back door.

The endangerment finding is a classic case of bureaucratic self dealing. EPA has positioned itself to determine the stringency of fuel economy standards, set climate policy for the nation, and even amend provisions of the Clean Air act – powers Congress never delegated to the agency.

Worse, America could end up with a pile of greenhouse gas regulations more costly than any climate bill or treaty the Senate has declined to pass or ratify, yet without the people’s representatives ever voting on it.

The Murkowski resolution puts a simple question before the Senate: Who shall make climate policy — lawmakers who must answer to the people at the ballot box or politically unaccountable bureaucrats, trial lawyers, and activist judges appointed for life?

Because the endangerment finding dramatically expands EPA’s power, the agency fiercely opposes S.J.Res.26, depicting it as an attack on science.

That is nonsense. Although a strong case can be made that the endangerment finding is scientifically flawed, the Murkowski resolution neither takes nor implies a position on climate science.

The resolution would overturn the “legal force and effect” of the endangerment finding, not its reasoning or conclusions. It is a referendum not on climate science but on who should make climate policy.

Climate policy is too important to be made by non-elected bureaucrats. That ought to be a proposition on which all Senators can agree.

The importance of Thursday’s vote is difficult to exaggerate. Nothing less than the integrity of our constitutional system of separated powers and democratic accountability hangs in the balance.