Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is launching a potentially devastating attack on the Clean Air Act. Majority Leader Harry Reid has granted her a vote for January 20 that would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants and other polluters in 2010.
The vote -- on an amendment to a must-pass bill to lift the debt ceiling -- will remove the EPA's enforcement funding and power so big polluters like the coal industry can ignore the Clean Air Act.
You think this would be easy to stop, but the vote is predicted to be close with many Democrats considering voting for the bill. This attack is a rerun of the successful efforts by Newt Gingrich to hamstring the Clinton EPA in the 90s.
Republican and Democratic senators alike need to hear from you. The coal industry has been working furiously to close deals with senators across the political spectrum, including those who say they want to protect the environment. We cannot underestimate the Senate's vulnerability to cynical attempts to handcuff the EPA.
The vote is expected to be close and we cannot take victory for granted.