GORE CALLS OUT MURKOWSKI…. We learned this week that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska is weighing a measure to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate and limit greenhouse-gas emissions. The amendment Murkowski is pushing was written by corporate lobbyists representing energy companies.

It went largely below the radar, but Al Gore wrote an email message this week, through the Climate Protection Action Fund, that came fairly close to the former vice president accusing Murkowski of corruption.

Efforts like [Murkowski’s] are designed to do one thing and one thing only — slow our transition to a clean energy economy that will create millions of new jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and solve the climate crisis. […]

The very last thing we should do in the fight to end the climate crisis is throw away tools that we already know are effective at reducing pollution. But that’s exactly what Senator Murkowski’s proposal does.

For decades, the Clean Air Act has kept millions of tons of pollutants out of our air and water. Senator Murkowski’s proposal would create an Alaska-sized loophole in the Clean Air Act, giving a pass to the biggest carbon polluters.

When it comes to former vice presidents, only Dick Cheney gets to have his emails republished as news articles. That said, it’s not every day that Al Gore calls out a sitting senator like this, blasting a lawmaker for pushing a “toxic” amendment “literally drafted with lobbyists for the oil and coal industry.”

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.