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WASHINGTON, DC â€“ U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski yesterday took to the Senate floor to speak in favor of overturning two new federal regulations that threaten the economy at a time when the country can least afford it. Murkowski said she would support resolutions of disapproval against the Federal Communications Commissionâ€™s Internet and Broadband rule and the Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
“One of the key ways to create real jobs is by getting the federal government out of the way of the private sector,” Murkowski said. “Yet the current administration is doing just the opposite – as our economy struggles to grow and many Americans are out of work, the White House wants to bury job creators under a mountain of paperwork.”
Murkowski objected to the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSPAR), saying it could have serious impacts on the reliability and affordability of electricity. The rule is scheduled to take effect in January if Congress fails to act. The EPA’s own estimates project complying with the new rule will cost $2.4 billion a year by 2014, while industry puts that number much higher at $130 billion in costs by 2015.
“This rule should not go forward at this time for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its potential impact on electric reliability,” she said. “Independent grid operators and the independent professionals we count on to assess electric reliability have expressed concerns about subjecting generators of electricity to the rule, especially on the current timetable. The EPA needs to take another look at those impacts and what this rule will do to electricity costs.”
“Many regulations, including too many from the EPA, unnecessarily raise the cost of energy and other vital goods and services. While we all support responsible environmental regulation and want EPA to do its job, we also want to protect other vital national interests such as affordable and reliable energy and a sound economy. Remember too that unreliable or unduly expensive energy has broad negative impacts, including upon public health.”
Murkowski also spoke in opposition to the FCC net neutrality rule, which threatens to inhibit investment and deter innovation.
“The rule put into place by the FCC in 2010 circumvents Congress and assumes authority that this body never consented to. We cannot allow the Executive Branch to go down this road. No provision of any statute explicitly gives the FCC authority to impose sweeping rules on the Internet,” Murkowski said. “In fact, section 230 of the Communications Act makes it the policy of the United States ‘to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by federal or state regulation.’”