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Global warming bill shot down

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Science Committee defeated a bill last week that could have strengthened and streamlined federal global change research and made it friendlier for planners, researchers and state and local municipalities.

U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, a Boulder Democrat who represents Summit County, proposed the bill.

The committee defeated the Global Change Research and Data Management Act on an 18-23 vote.



Udall accused House Republicans of being AWOL (a military term meaning “absent without leave”) on the issue of global warming.

“All research and evidence indicates that global change is occurring,” Udall said May 1. “One only has to look at the drought in Colorado and realize that climate change is happening. Ask a farmer about his crop yields. Ask the ski industry, which depends on the weather to conduct business. By voting down my bill, they showed that they don’t even support basic research on global change. We really missed an opportunity to define Congress’ position on this issue.”



An article in the journal Science Friday says scientists have detected warming trends in the troposphere, the layer of atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface. Researchers said they input new data to reflect the shifts satellites make in space. They say that will give them more accurate information about global warming.

Udall’s proposed bill, the Global Change Research and Data Management Act of 2003, would have replaced current law that established the U.S. Global Change Research Program in 1990.

It would simplify its organizational structure, give the administration flexibility in forming an interagency committee to develop research plans and would allow the National Governors Association to evaluate the plan. The bill also would retain many key features of the current law, such as requirements for a 10-year strategic plan, periodic reviews of the effects of global change on natural, social and economic systems and increased international cooperation in global-change science. 

The bill also would have taken advantage of computer technology to archive data for scientists and policymakers.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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