SALT LAKE CITY -- A Top of Utah lawmaker has been successfully leading the state parade to question proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation connected with climate change.
But that hasn't stopped detractors from trying to rain on that parade as it moves through the Legislature.
Rep. Kerry Gibson, R-Ogden, gained support Friday from a committee that agreed to send his climate-related resolution to the full Senate.
Gibson's resolution wants the Utah Legislature to urge the federal EPA to "cease its carbon dioxide reduction policies, programs and regulations until climate data and global warming science are substantiated."
But a former Salt Lake City mayor, a Brigham Young University scientist and others at a packed hearing questioned Gibson's message bill.
"This is the greatest moral issue facing mankind," said Rocky Anderson, the former Salt Lake City mayor who urged defeat of the resolution.
"We don't have our arms around the science," countered Deseret Power CEO Kimball Rasmussen, who supports Gibson and presented a utility company's point of view.
Rasmussen was joined by the Utah Farm Bureau and others who back Gibson's proposal.
Language in the original resolution that included the words "conspiracy, tricks and gravy train" was struck from the bill.
The amended legislation has already gained approval in the Utah House.
But Barry Bickmore, a BYU professor who said he represents a group of 14 scientists, said the lawmakers are heading down the wrong scientific road.
"This resolution contains a string of scientific theories that are false or misleading," he said.
"This has been an emotionally charged issue," said Gibson, a dairy farmer. "We are in such uncharted territory. We need to be careful."
The climate statement passed on a 3-2 vote.