Utah legislature seeks halt to US EPA emissions regulations

19 February 2010 21:23  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The Utah state legislature next week will urge the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt plans to regulate and reduce US emissions of greenhouse gases, a state House member said on Friday.

Utah state Representative Kerry Gibson said his joint resolution calling on the EPA to not regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) won approval on Friday by the Utah Senate Natural Resources Committee in a 4-2 vote.

The Utah House of Representatives approved the measure, HJR-12, on 9 February with a 56-17 vote.

Gibson, a Republican, said that with Friday’s approval of the resolution by the Senate committee, the measure will go to the Senate floor on Monday and is expected to pass later in the week.

The resolution declares that climate data underlying proposed cap-and-trade legislation in the US Congress and the EPA’s “endangerment finding” are questionable, and if the agency proceeds to regulate CO2, it “would result in significantly higher energy costs to American consumers, business and industry”.

The measure also says that global warming assertions have been discredited, citing recently disclosed e-mails between climate researchers indicating “a well-organised and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome”.

“Therefore, the legislature of the state of Utah urges the EPA to immediately halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and withdraw its ‘endangerment finding’ and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of climate data and global warming science can be substantiated,” the resolution says.

The pending action by Utah’s legislature follows lawsuits and petitions filed by Texas and Virginia seeking to block EPA implementation of its greenhouse gases reduction plan.

There are bipartisan efforts in the US Congress to block the EPA from proceeding with its plans to limit and reduce the nation’s GHG emissions.  Various US industries and trade groups also have filed court and administrative actions to block the EPA.

Gibson said that when the Utah Senate gives final approval to his resolution next week, it will be forwarded to the EPA and to all members of the Utah congressional delegation.

“First, we want to send this message to the EPA,” Gibson said. “I hope they listen.  If not, then this is an opportunity to talk to the public about this, because they have not heard both sides of this global warming issue.”

He said other state legislatures are considering resolutions opposing EPA regulation of greenhouse gases, although he said he could not name any specific states.

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