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Citing ‘Climategate,’ GOP Leaders Call on EPA to Withdraw Endangerment Finding

Republican lawmakers aren’t about to let this one slide.

Following the “Climategate” scandal, which global warming skeptics say casts doubt on the science behind climate change, four GOP leaders today sent a letter (PDF) to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson calling on the EPA to withdraw its Endangerment Finding, which would allow the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that have harmful effects on the climate.

The letter, signed by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), argues that because the scientists involved in the scandal “played prominent roles” in some studies that highlighted the dangers of climate change, the EPA must reassess the threat posed by greenhouse gas emissions. The Endangerment Finding came after a 2007 Supreme Court ruling mandated that the EPA determine whether greenhouse gases were a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

“The EPA’s climate change regulations are based on compromised scientific reports and heavily flawed data,” Barrasso said in a statement. “The EPA must now withdraw all proposed climate change rules and regulations and conduct their own research.”

He and the co-signers did not mention the overwhelming evidence — and broad scientific consensus — that the climate is indeed changing. But they did use some choice words to describe scientists who believe in the dangers of climate change.

“These [hacked] e-mails [at the center of the scandal] betray the true thoughts and motives of many leading climate scientists,” Sensenbrenner said. “It shows a pattern that’s closer to scientific fascism than the scientific method.”

Issa added, “This Administration used flawed science created by a community of bullies to push through ideologically based policies.”

Each of the four co-signers is the ranking Republican on a committee or subcommittee related to environmental issues or government oversight.

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