Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Tuesday took a swipe at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has long been a favorite whipping boy among Capitol Hill Republicans.

Speaking at the Energy Information Administration’s Energy Conference, Murkowski was asked what “short advice” she would give to the agency as it prepares a greenhouse gas emissions standard.

“When you talk about the EPA there’s no way you can give short advice,” she quipped. “If I could sum it up in a few words, [the agency] has to be reasonable. It has to be balanced. It has to look to the cost-benefit [of its rules]. It must allow for a level of flexibility.

“And when you use all of those words, it’s almost impossible to include the EPA in the same sentence.”

The relationship between the EPA and the oil and natural gas has been antagonistic at best, as the federal agency has been accused of being overzealous in its regulation of the energy industry (see Daily GPI, April 4, 2012; Dec. 13, 2011).

The nomination of Gina McCarthy to head up the EPA hangs in limbo in the Senate. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) still has a hold on her nomination over a dispute involving a levee in his state. And Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said he will block her nomination until she responds to the committee Republicans’ five requests on transparency (see Daily GPI, May 17).

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