What money can buy

Congress’ top recipient of campaign contributions from U.S. electric utilities is leading efforts to block federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) received $157,000 from the utilities industry last year and more than $244,000 since 2005, according to a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics. Her top five campaign contributors were Edison, Constellation Energy, Van Ness Feldman, Southern Company and Exxon Mobil. The Washington Post reported that two energy industry lobbyists and former Bush administration officials, Jeffrey Holmstead and Roger Martella Jr., helped Murkowski write a 2009 amendment that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. The amendment was shelved, but the senator has said she’ll propose a similar one soon.