NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 28, 2009

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in an attempt to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.  However, the EPA is having none of it, calling a hearing a "waste of time" and saying that a threatened lawsuit by the chamber would be "frivolous."

But according to Brad Peck, editor of the ChamberPost, the blog for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

  • In order to ensure that regulations which reengineer our economy are needed and would ultimately be effective, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing the EPA to reveal the data they used to justify their endangerment proposal.
  • We need to drop the articles of faith and use the entirety of scientific study on the effects of climate change not a sub-set.

Nevertheless, environmentalists say the chamber's strategy is an attempt to sow political discord by challenging settled science.  The chamber proposal "brings to mind the Salem witch trials, based on myth," says Brenda Ekwurzel, of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "In this case, it would be ignoring decades of publicly accessible evidence."

Not so, counters Peck:

  • The agency used secondary scientific sources, studies that largely weren't adequately peer-reviewed and the selective use of scientific studies to justify a policy decision they wanted to make.
  • And in terms of trials based on myth, exactly the opposite -- we don't want decades of publicly accessible evidence to be ignored.

To enact effective policy we need transparency and scientific data which is beyond question, not data deemed beyond questioning, concludes Peck.

Source: Jim Tankersley, "U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks trial on global warming," LA Times, August 25, 2009; Brad Peck, "Transparency, Science and the EPA Revisited," ChamberPost, August 25, 2009.


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