Utah Legislature: State Senate committee urges EPA to cease regulating greenhouse gases

Published: Saturday, Feb. 20 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A controversial climate change resolution urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cease its regulation of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas emission advanced Friday after a packed committee hearing.

The resolution sponsored by Rep. Kerry Gibson, R-Ogden, urges the federal agency to reverse its "endangerment finding" that carbon dioxide contributes to global warming until the science can be substantiated.

Gibson, in the meeting of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, quoted dire predictions from a news article on the earth heating up and ocean waves devouring coastal cities. He then pointed out that it was published in 1922.

"We've always had scary times, and to a certain extent, we have always heard scare tactics," he said.

A sixth-generation dairy farmer, Gibson said the EPA's overly stringent policies threaten multiple industries and consumers.

"It behooves us as a state to be cognizant of those issues and that any action we take should be balanced."

The resolution, which passed a House committee earlier this month on a 10-1 vote, prevailed Friday 4-2 despite a roomful of boisterous critics. A group of people have organized StopHJR12, and they showed up en masse to the hearing, which also included a packed overflow room.

"The main issue is this resolution contains a string of scientific arguments that are either false or misleading or half-truths based on basic misconceptions about science," said Barry Bickmore, a Brigham Young University science professor who has publicly rebuked some lawmakers for their stance on global warming.

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, noting his own environmental policies while in office, said global warming is the "greatest moral issue facing mankind today."

He went on to stress that unless serious steps are taken to address the problem, "tragedy and untold misery will result to billions of people, including likely our own descendants."

e-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com

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