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EPA Vote: Momentum Builder?

By Amy Harder
National Journal Energy & Environment Blog
Last week, the Senate defeated a resolution by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to overturn EPA climate regulations. The result, which fell four votes short of passage, set off a barrage of statements from senators and interest groups saying the vote is – or is not – symbolic of how lawmakers would vote on comprehensive energy and climate legislation.

Will the Senate's refusal to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases encourage efforts to pass climate and energy legislation?

Last week, the Senate defeated a resolution by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to overturn EPA climate regulations. The result, which fell four votes short of passage, set off a barrage of statements from senators and interest groups saying the vote is – or is not – symbolic of how lawmakers would vote on comprehensive energy and climate legislation.

Does the vote build momentum for broader climate and energy policy? Should the Senate rally around the energy-only bill introduced last week by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., which has the support of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Murkowski? Does the EPA vote add impetus to the broader package introduced by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn.?

How Did Obama Affect Climate Bill's Chances?

In his first Oval Office address Tuesday night, President Obama vowed to clean up the Gulf of Mexico and underscored the urgency of weaning the U.S. off fossil fuels. But notably, he did not mention the need for a price on carbon, a feature that supporters of comprehensive climate legislation see as a key indicator of the president's commitment to passing such a bill.

How did Obama's speech affect the chances of the Senate passing legislation with a price on carbon this year? Did the president give new momentum to energy legislation sponsored by Lugar or the bill passed out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year? Did he hurt the Kerry-Lieberman bill?

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