State Legislatures Work To Deny Regulation of Climate Threat

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 03 Mar 2010 03:49:00 GMT

Yesterday, the South Dakota legislature passed a resolution telling public schools to teach “balance” about the “prejudiced” science of climate change by a vote of 37-33. Earlier language that ascribed “astrological” influences to global warming was stripped from the final version.

There are at least fifteen state legislatures attempting to prevent limits on greenhouse gas pollution. The states of Alabama and global warming endangerment finding, with legislators in thirteen more states in tow. Several of these resolutions argue that the scientific consensus on the threat of manmade global warming is actually a conspiracy:
KENTUCKY: “WHEREAS, a recent disclosure of communications among scientists associated with the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia has cast serious doubt upon the scientific data that have purportedly supported the finding that manmade carbon dioxide has been a material cause of global warming or global climate change . . .”

MARYLAND: “WHEREAS, E–mail and other communications between climate researchers around the globe discovered as part of the recent “climate–gate” controversy indicate that there is a well–organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data and incorporate tricks to substantiate the theory of climate change . . . “

OKLAHOMA: “WHEREAS, intense public scrutiny has revealed how unsettled the science is on climate change and the unwillingness of many of the world’s climatologists to share data or even entertain opposing viewpoints on the subject . . .”

UTAH: “WHEREAS, emails and other communications between climate researchers around the globe, referred to as ‘Climategate,’ indicate a well organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome . . .”

Every resolution makes the claim that protecting citizens from hazardous climate pollution would hurt the economy, instead of spurring a green recovery. Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Alaska lawmakers talk about being “dependent” on their states’ coal and oil industries. Several of the resolutions, drafted early last year, call on Congress to reject the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), which passed the House of Representatives in June but has languished in the Senate. The Alaska and West Virginia resolutions support Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) effort to rewrite the Clean Air Act (S.J.Res. 26), and Alabama’s resolution calls for the passage of Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s (D-ND) similar effort (H.R. 4396).

Bizarrely, Arizona state senator Sylvia Allen’s (R-AZ) resolution argues that the U.S. Congress does not have the Constitutional authority to regulate greenhouse gas pollution. Allen also believes the Earth is 6000 years old. The other Arizona resolution, along with the Kentucky, Virginia, and Washington resolutions, would attempt to block state enforcement of global warming rules.

These efforts to overturn the Clean Air Act and politicize established science are being supported by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a national organization that brings conservative state lawmakers together with industry. ALEC promotes a resolution opposing the endangerment finding drafted by its Natural Resources Task Force, which includes over 120 lawmakers from around the nation and a similarly sized group of corporate representatives. Although ALEC does not have an official position on the validity of climate science, the organization is “actively involved in helping people get together and share ideas,” a representative told Hill Heat. For example, the spring ALEC task force meeting will feature noted climate conspiracy theorist Paul Driessen, the author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death.

States With Resolutions Opposing Greenhouse Endangerment Finding
AKHJR 49Stoltze ( R)PendingSupports Murkowski
ALHJR 218Gipson ( R)EnactedSupports Pomeroy
AZHB 2442
SCR 1050
Burges ( R)
Allen ( R)
PendingBlocks state enforcement
Tenther resolution
FLHR 1357
SR 958
Stephens ( R)
Pearson ( R)
PendingSupports overturn
ILHR 961
SR 666
Phelps (D)
Forby ( D)
PendingOpposes Waxman-Markey
KSSR 1809Natural Resources CommitteePendingOpposes “administrative fiat” by EPA
KYHJR 20Fischer ( R)PendingCites hacked emails to block state enforcement
MDHJR 13Jenkins ( R)PendingCites “climate change conspiracy” to oppose EPA
HCR 59
Funderburk ( R)
Brown ( R)
PendingOpposes Waxman-Markey, EPA
OKSCR 41Lamb ( R)Adopted by SenateCites “unsettled” science to support overturn
UTEPA withdrawal
VAHB1357Morefield ( R)Pending“Carbon dioxide shall not be considered air pollution”
WAS 6477Stevens ( R)PendingBlocks state enforcement
WVHCR 34Shott ( R)PendingCites “vigorous, legitimate, and substantive” scientific debate to support Murkowski