EPA's Endangerment Finding Inflames Climate Change Debate

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, says the Environmental Protection Agency needs to go back to the drawing board in assessing the cause of greenhouse gas pollution.

"Restart the process, and this time use rigorous, defensible science," Cuccinelli, a Republican, said.

He wants the EPA to rethink its December findings that human activity increases levels of greenhouse gas pollution and "that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations."

Cuccinelli says efforts by the EPA to cap such emissions would create a "staggering burden" for state residents and businesses.

"Every Virginian will take an economic beating if this goes forward," Cuccinelli said.

The EPA says a response is forthcoming. But others, who support the EPA's efforts to enact carbon caps on vehicle emissions say Cuccinelli is just playing politics.

"It's very clear this is coming from lawyers not scientists and there's really no new science that needs to be resolved," said Brendan Bell, Washington representative for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a leading nonprofit environmental group.

But the science that climatologists have been using has come under fire. Recently, some parts of the 2007 United Nations Panel Report on Climate Change was found to contain mistakes, including a claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035.

And one of the lead scientists in the climate-gate scandal last year, Phil Jones, acknowledged that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995. But he also claims most of the climate warning since 1950 is "due to human activity."

Bell says the recent headlines in The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal suggesting the climate change movement has had a setback miss the most important point.

"We had National Academy of Sciences and 18 of the major scientific institutions in the U.S. saying that humans causes the planet to warm," Bell said. "There's no debate here."

The New York Times editorial page agrees but on Wednesday it took the United Nations Climate Change panel to task for that 2007 report, saying the panel cannot "allow more missteps" and at the very least must tighten its procedures.

Molly Henneberg joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and currently serves as a correspondent based in the Washington bureau. Click here for more information on Molly Henneberg