Was it Lunchtime?

11 Jun

I don’t have the time (nor the inclination) to dissect the Senate’s disapointing failure to endorse Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval on EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the ill-suited Clean Air Act infrastructure.  I did, however, want to poke a little fun at the easy targets in the Senate.  Maybe I was the only one lame enough to watch a debate about a resolution that, in the best case scenario, would have been swiftly vetoed in a matter of minutes, but no one appears to have noticed a strong pepperoni theme in the floor statement by Senator Murkowski:

Look at Texas. There is the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Aromatics, Texas Association of Agricultural Consultants, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas Citrus Mutual, Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, Texas Independent Ginners Association, Texas Food Processers Association, Texas Forestry Association, Grain and Feeders Association, Nursery and Landscape Association–and I am only halfway through the Texas organizations that support our resolution of disapproval.

So the suggestion that somehow this is all tied into the oil industry, again, just simply does not comport with what has been happening. Why are these organizations standing up and speaking out and saying this is not the path we should be taking with climate? It goes back to the jobs. It goes back to the issue of where we are as an economy. It goes back to the level of bureaucratic overlay that will be imposed on the California Citrus Mutual or the California Cotton Growers Association or the Carpet and Rug Institute or the pizza company from Ohio.

This is absolutely about how we as a Nation determine those policies that will, in fact, allow us to have the clean air we all want. But we can achieve those goals in a way that isn’t going to kick our timing in the head. Who can do that? Is it the EPA, whose mission is solely and exclusively that we have to follow the letter of the law here? The letter of the law says to not only go after the big polluters but all the way down to the small emitters, which emit 250 tons of carbon per year. And every effort EPA may want to make in terms of tailoring, all it is going to take is one lawsuit that challenges that tailoring to inject the uncertainty back into the market, back into the business place. So once again we have an economy that just can not get back on its feet.

This is not a referendum on any other bill that is pending in Congress, but it is a check on EPA’s regulatory ambition. It presents an opportunity for us to stop the worst option for regulating greenhouse gases from moving forward, while we work on a more responsible solution.

I want to take a moment to thank my colleague from West Virginia, who spoke very passionately about why he supports this resolution–because of the people he represents. I ask all of us to look to the people we represent. Look at your small businesses, your farmers, your ranchers, your pizza manufacturers. Look to them. Look to the health of their families and their communities.

I sympathize with someone from Alaska who is trying to think of businesses that aren’t oil and gas companies, but really?  I mean, having endured years of working for and with the most random DC associations, I have yet to run into the Washington liaison for the powerful National Pizza Manufacturers Association.


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