06/16/2010 11:02 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's Time for the Senate to Act Responsibly

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Last week the Senate debated—and defeated—the Murkowski resolution which would have overturned EPA’s science-based finding that global warming pollution endangers public health and the environment. During the debate, many Senators who voted for the resolution, and some who voted against it, argued that it’s Congress’ job to determine how to reduce carbon emissions.

Here is a sample of those statements—

Congress, the elected representatives of the people of this Nation—not unelected bureaucrats—should be making the complicated, multifaceted decisions on energy and climate policy.

We know, desperately, that we want to lower our carbon emissions, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and create good, green jobs.

Finding a national consensus on how to control the levels of carbon emissions is the job of the elected members of Congress. Reducing carbon emissions will have a substantial economic impact on our country, but in different ways for different states. Congress should take the lead in determining the rules that will apply.

I am willing to work with people on a solution, but it has to be legislative because on this, above all, the Congress must decide.

Congress—and not the EPA—should make important policies, and be accountable to the American people for them.

Tomorrow Senate Democrats will meet in a special caucus to discuss the content of energy and climate legislation to be brought to the Senate floor in July. This is the opportunity for Senators who want Congress to define America’s climate policy to speak up for a comprehensive bill that sets real limits on global warming pollution. 

If it’s Congress’ responsibility to decide America’s climate policy, then it’s time for the Senate to act responsibly. Talk is cheap. It’s time for action.

This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard blog.