STATEMENT OF FRANK LAUTENBERG
EPW Hearing on Global Climate Change
July 10, 1997

The EPA, along with other health, environment and safety agencies are under Congressional pressure to use good science: peer reviewed research before taking actions to protect the nation's workers and children. The concern is that EPA was using less-than-adequate backup before acting. However, the critics who demand peered research before we take action to protect the environment, seem to have no trouble discounting peer reviewed research when it suits their purpose. The tobacco industry comes to mind. Hundreds of thousands of pages of the best medical research in the world can't convince the industry that cigarettes cause cancer or are addictive. At today's hearing, we are talking about global warming. An unprecedented number of scientists around the world, thousands of peer reviewed research and projects all point to the fact that global warming is happening -- it is a threat to our environment and we have a moral imperative to act.

A few fringe scientists, generally paid for by industrial polluters, disagree. Essentially, their work is not peer reviewed. However, they are heard because millions of dollars are spent to give these scientists a megaphone that drowns out the undisputed consensus of an overwhelming number of the world's scientists.

The threat of humankind changing the climate is real. In New Jersey, we are concerned that global warming will lead to rise in sea level that will devastate our coastal beach resources. As all Americans, we are watchful of extreme weather events and wary of changes in precipitation patterns that could led to floods, droughts and inadequate water for crops.

I look forward to these hearings on what many believe is the most critical environmental issue facing our globe.