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House committee seeks to keep global warming laws out of Utah

By Richard Piatt  |  Posted Feb 4th, 2010 @ 3:53pm



 

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah lawmakers want to send a strong message to the federal government to keep global warming laws away from the state.

A House committee passed a resolution with an overwhelming majority to send that message Thursday.

In this case, lawmakers aren't as concerned with the environmental issue as they are with the economy. There's a strong feeling that federal anti-global warming efforts would be harmful to Utah's economy if they went through.

A committee decided with a vast majority to pass the resolution on to the full House. The resolution urges the Environmental Protection Agency to hold off on programs like cap and trade, along with various others that include a tax to deal with climate change.

Conservative lawmakers are passionate about waiting until a more conclusive body of evidence regarding global warming is available to pass such laws. They say Utah should not be subject to the rules the federal government is passing down.

There are also many conservative Republicans who strongly believe global warming is a conspiracy to do something that would harm Utah. The resolution reflects this theory with strong words and a strong message.

For example, it claims perpetrators of "Climategate" often "incorporate "tricks" related to global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome." The end result is what the resolution calls a climate change "gravy train."

"Most of the American people today think there's only one side to the story," said Rep. Kerry Gibson, R-Ogden. "They haven't heard it. I'm convinced we need to tell it."

Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, said, "I am concerned. The debate needs to be open, and when the media keeps saying it's closed, it's over, it's done, they're doing their citizens and readers an injustice."

Rep. Phil Riesen, D-Salt Lake City, was the only member of the House committee to vote against the resolution.

"My philosophy is 'clean air at any cost.' We breathe air. We need air to live and to sustain our lives. I think we have to reach a balance when it impacts industries such as yours," Riesen said.

Most felt strongly about passing the message on to the federal government.

"Let's not make any of those rash decisions," Gibson said. "Let's move slowly. Let's allow the science to develop as it has for years, and as we do so we'll make wise decisions for the future."

The resolution will now go to the full House for a vote.

E-mail: rpiatt@ksl.com

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