Rep. Issa: EPA should hold back on carbon announcement after 'Climategate'

The White House should refrain from declaring carbon emissions to be a health hazard in light of evidence climate change skeptics say proves global warming is not a threat, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Monday.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce this afternoon that carbon is a harmful pollutant -- a move that would trigger a host of federal regulations designed to cap emissions.

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But Issa, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said this morning that timing was ill-advised, seeing as the White House has yet to investigate whether a spat over international climate change research has affected its own data.

“The very integrity of the report that the Obama Administration has predicated much of its Climate Change policy upon has been called into question and it is unconscionable that this Administration and Congress is willing to abdicate responsibility of uncovering the truth to the United Nations," Issa said this morning on MSNBC.

"The Administration’s Climategate denials and refusal to acknowledge the need for a Congressional investigation are a sad abdication of their responsibility to ensure that U.S. policies are not driven by corrupted science and data,” he added.

Issa's concerns stem from the media frenzy now known as "climategate" -- the publication of thousands of e-mails and documents that some say prove global warming research has been manipulated to exaggerate its threat.

Since those e-mails became public, however, Issa and a host of others who dislike the administration's climate change policy have called on the White House to investigate the data it uses. But the Obama administration has insisted an inquiry is unnecessary, stressing one research quandary hardly undermines decades of scientific consensus on global warming.

Nevertheless, the fallout could not come at a worse time for the world community, which will begin gathering this week in Copenhagen for climate change talks. Many fear the dispute will only hamper international leaders and negotiators from committing to serious reductions in carbon emissions -- the United States included.