Sen. Barrasso Uses The Oil Spill As A Reason To Block EPA Regulations

June 10, 2010 1:38 pm ET — Media Matters Action Network

Today, the Senate is considering Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) resolution that would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.  The measure would overturn last year's scientific finding that greenhouse gases pose a threat to the American public.  In a floor speech this afternoon, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) used the BP oil disaster as a reason to support the resolution.  Even though the endangerment finding occurred last year, Barrasso argued that the EPA should be focused on a "real problem" and "not something that theoretically may make a difference a hundred years from now."

BARRASSO: I had previously been discussing what's going on and what's been described as the worst environmental disaster in American history, and it's what's happening right today in the Gulf of Mexico. And should the Environmental Protection Agency maybe be focusing its efforts there, where we know there's a real problem, a real job to be done, real concerns, and the American people are looking? Or should the Environmental Protection Agency spend its time, spend our resources, driving up the cost of energy, and doing it -- doing it at the idea that perhaps a hundred years from now, it might make a difference? The efforts oughta be placed today where the effort is needed most. The Environmental Protection Agency oughta be focused on the Gulf, not something that theoretically may make a difference a hundred years from now.


It appears that conservative lawmakers are more worried about protecting Big Oil than the interests of the American people.  A new Washington Post-ABC poll shows that an overwhelming 71 percent of Americans -- including a majority of Republicans -- support federal regulation of greenhouse gases.  Since 2007, Barrasso has accepted $174,000 in contributions from the oil and gas industry.  

Update: The Murkowski resolution failed by a vote of 47-53.