House OKs resolution doubting climate change

Amendment » A non-binding statement passed after lawmakers deleted charges of a "conspiracy" on climate data.
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The House adopted a sternly worded resolution declaring the body's deep skepticism over current climate science and called for the federal government to halt carbon dioxide reduction programs.

Rep. Kerry Gibson said that by pursuing cap-and-trade policies, Washington is engaging on a path that could destroy Utah's way of life.

"I'm afraid of what could happen to our economy, to our rural life, to our agriculture, if such a detrimental policy continues to be pursued for political reasons," said the Ogden Republican.

He said there is mounting evidence that humans can't influence their environment and the costs of enacting climate change policies could be staggering.

The House resolution is nonbinding and has no legal impact beyond expressing the sentiment of the Legislature. It passed the body by a 56-17 vote and now goes to the Senate.

The resolution was amended to tone down some of the incendiary language, specifically deleting references to a "climate data conspiracy" and a climate change "gravy train."

Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, said that as strongly as he feels about the resolution, "we should elevate our discussion above where a lot of people have taken it."

Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, staged a defense of carbon dioxide, saying it is an odorless gas that is "essentially harmless to human beings" that is unrelated to air pollution and can actually encourage plant growth.

House Minority Leader David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City, said he is concerned the resolution goes too far and attacks science, and quoted a letter from several Brigham Young University scientists that argued against the resolution.

Gibson said he respects the BYU scientists. "I also respect the words of the scientists who are mounting on the other side of the issue, who in large part we have not heard," he said, because their viewpoints have been "hidden."