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Utah Senate rejects EPA global warming policies

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah lawmakers furthered an anti-global warming message Friday when the Senate passed House Joint Resolution 12.

There are strong feelings about global warming -- about the science supporting it, about the science refuting it.

But the resolution by Rep. Kerry Gibson, R-Ogden, puts the state of Utah on center stage: rejecting EPA policies he says endanger Utah's economy.

"We are in such a uncharted territory that I think we need to be extremely careful where we're going," he said.

Gibson's arguments found sympathetic ears in the majority on this Senate committee; it passed to the full Senate.

That's in spite of a string of testimony against passing it.

HJR 12 "urges the United States Environmental Protection Agency to cease its carbon dioxide reduction policies, programs and regulations until climate data and global warming science are substantiated."

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was among those urging lawmakers to say "no."

"If we continue along this path, tragedy and untold misery will result among millions of people, including very likely our own descendants," Anderson said.

There were others, too -- those who say an environmentally-friendly energy policy is wise even if the science is still debated.

"Simply putting a halt on any CO2 production policy is ludicrous and is terrible for this country and future generations," said Drew Thompson.

Derek Snarr told the committee, "My reason for being here is that I am not a scientist and I am not qualified, and nor are you to debate science in this room."

Watching this debate is climate change critic Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who is not convinced climate change demands public policy changes.

"There's some outstanding individuals on the other side of this debate. I'm saying as a policy maker, we need to slow down," Noel said.

Three Democrats voted against the resolution, calling it overly broad and sending the wrong message to children.


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Richard Piatt


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