In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had the authority to regulate GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act. In December 2009, the EPA announced an endangerment finding that outlined the six primary GHGs that threaten public health and welfare. In January of this year, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced a resolution that tried to prevent the EPA from regulating GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act.

On February 12 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a formal petition asking the court to review the EPA ruling, stating that it “will challenge EPA’s decision to trigger Clean Air Act regulation, based on lapses in EPA’s process in making that decision,” according to Steven Law, chief legal officer and general counsel at the Chamber (

Murkowski’s resolution finally came to a vote last week, where it was defeated by a vote of 53-47. At least eight Senators made statements saying the U.S. needs to reduce GHG emissions, according to Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. This defeats seems to pave the way for a vote on the American Power Act, which was introduced by Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman last month. They set the reduction target at 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, and most emissions allowances mandated in the bill will be free until 2019.

What do you think this defeat says about the mindset of Congress, in regards to climate change? Do you think the American Power Act has a chance to pass after this defeat? Tell us your thoughts!

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