Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) joined ranks with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) late last month when she cosponsored legislation to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Lincoln explains her reasoning on her Web site:
Heavy-handed EPA regulation, as well as the current cap and trade bills in Congress, will cost us jobs and put us at an even greater competitive disadvantage to China, India and others. Arkansans, and the American public, want Congress to take a breath, slow down, and thoughtfully come up with energy policy that makes common sense and will help grow our economy.
Finding Lincoln's use of of the term "take a breath" to be quite ironic, activist groups such as the Sierra Club and MoveOn have hit back against her efforts to derail greenhouse gas regulations.
"Senator Lincoln's constituents ought to ask her why she wants to help Big Oil and out-of-state coal companies to the detriment of the clean energy businesses and natural gas industry that are actually creating jobs in her home state," President of the Sierra Club Carl Pope said in a press release.
The Sierra Club of Arkansas released a 60-second radio spot today in Little Rock and Fort Smith, urging residents to pressure Lincoln to support clean air and clean energy jobs in Arkansas. You can listen to the radio spot here.
Lincoln was unfazed by the Sierra Club's campaign, as evident in a statement released by her spokeswoman, Katie Laning Niebaum:
Senator Lincoln acted on behalf of Arkansas workers, employers and consumers to protect them from burdensome regulation. That's why more than two dozen businesses and agricultural groups either based in Arkansas or with ties to the state supported Senator Lincoln's efforts to prevent EPA's overreach of regulatory powers.
Sierra Club Deputy Press Secretary Josh Dorner struck back:
From her response, it's clear that--as we feared--she has chosen to side with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Big Oil, polluters, and other extreme right-wing, anti-science groups instead of the job-creating clean energy businesses and natural gas industry in her own state. It's unfortunate that Senator Lincoln would put these special interests ahead of protecting the health and welfare of Arkansans and all Americans--and we hope she'll reconsider.
MoveOn.org also offers some perspective on Lincoln's proposed legislation: