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25 Aug 2009: U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Wants to Put Global Warming on Trial

Facing the prospect that the federal government may soon begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is proposing a public hearing in which the chamber and allied scientists question whether human-caused global warming is real. William Kovacs, the chamber’s senior vice-president for environment, technology, and regulatory affairs, is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold the rare public hearing, complete with witnesses, cross-examinations, and a judge who would rule whether man is indeed warming the planet. Kovacs likened the hearing to “the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century,” referring to the famed 1925 court case in which a Tennessee teacher was illegally accused of teaching evolution. “It would be the science of climate change on trial,” said Kovacs, adding that if the EPA refuses to hold a hearing, the chamber will file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the notion of man-made global warming. The EPA — which is soon expected to declare that it will begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions because they are a threat to public health — said it had no intention of holding a global warming “trial,” calling the hearing a “waste of time” and the proposed lawsuit “frivolous.” The chamber, which represents three million businesses, is concerned not only about EPA regulation but also about a carbon cap-and-trade bill that has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and is now before the U.S. Senate.


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