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Bill defending carbon dioxide gets shelved

Published March 4, 2014 7:27 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A bill from a lawmaker who says the atmosphere needs more carbon dioxide and melting ice caps wouldn't raise sea levels got set aside Tuesday, but could be studied over the summer.

Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, a beekeeper who said he taught science for five decades, said despite warnings from climate alarmists, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and state law shouldn't classify it as one, except when it is in large concentrations.

His bill, HB229, would remove carbon dioxide from a list of pollutants in state code. In earlier testimony on the bill, Anderson contended that more carbon dioxide would be beneficial to the climate.

Anderson argued Tuesday that, even if the climate warms and the ice caps melt, the oceans will not rise because the ice caps are — like ice cubes in a glass — giant icebergs floating on the water.

In fact, much of the ice cap covers Antarctica, which is a land-based continent. Scientists say the melting of the ice caps could raise the oceans by more than 200 feet.

Anderson's bill also would have removed radon from the list of air pollutants, but he decided to leave it on the list because it "is a little radioactive and we don't want to approve that."

Members of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee voted to delay Anderson's bill and possibly study it before the 2015 session to decide if it warrants action.