Cross-posted from Wonk Room.

Calling for the “Scopes trial of the 21st century,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has delivered a petition [PDF] to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a public hearing on the EPA’s proposed global warming endangerment finding. The petition, acquired by the Wonk Room, claims that scientific research demonstrates global warming has stopped, the oceans aren’t acidifying or warming, sea level isn’t rising, extreme weather events aren’t increasing, tropical diseases aren’t spreading, wildfires aren’t increasing — but even if the planet were getting warmer, then U.S. citizens will be healthier, air pollution will decrease, and U.S. agriculture will benefit. The petition, authored by corporate legal titan Kirkland & Ellis LLP, attacks the “insupportable claims about the impacts of climate change on public health and welfare,” and goes on to argue that a show trial must be held to “eliminate the taint“:

Only such a neutral, record-based and science-based process can hope to eliminate the taint that has now infected the proposed endangerment finding process.

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The Chamber concludes that if there is not a public proceeding, the EPA must “withdraw the endangerment proposal entirely”:

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The current state of the EPA docket presents the Agency with only two choices. One is to grant the Chamber’s petition, and convert this proceeding to one based solely on the record, so that questions of scientific uncertainty can be narrowed, questions of conflicting scientific views can be resolved, and certain scientifically-indefensible assertions can be put to rest, all with transparency and scientific integrity. The other option is for EPA to withdraw the endangerment proposal entirely.

The Chamber argues that “none of the claims that climate change will cause extreme weather events that could injure the population of the United States appear to have any support in peer-reviewed studies that examine issues of causation” and that “there is no scientific basis to link allergic disorders in any significant way to climate change.”

The Chamber’s petition relies on the work of oil-fueled ideologues, little of it published in peer-reviewed form, to challenge the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is damaging the public health. The bloggers Chip Knappenberger and Anthony Watts are cited, as are the oil-funded scientists Pat Michaels, Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, and Richard Lindzen, alongside the docket submissions of the National Mining Association, American Farm Bureau, American Petroleum Institute, American Energy Alliance/Institute for Energy Research, and the North American Coal Corporation.

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