Sen. Boxer criticized global warming skeptics who have "personalized" last month's climate e-mail spat and this week's talks in Copenhagen, Denmark.

While the senator acknowledged the strong sentiments pervading this year's debate are valid, she ultimately expressed concern the "personal" could soon "get in the way of the science."


Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) later added that could be especially devastating at a time when lawmakers and the White House are making great progress on emissions-standards legislation.

"I believe the emotions reflect the intensity of feelings on both sides of the debate," said Boxer, noting that an international dispute last month over climate change research produced at a foreign university hardly "contradicts an overwhelming body of research."

"But for me, as a policymaker, I condemn that on all sides," she told reporters.

Boxer, the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has occupied center stage throughout this year's cap-and-trade negotiations — the robust climate change legislation Democrats are trying to advance.

As one of its original authors, she maintains Congress is closer than ever to instituting the strict emissions-reduction bill, a sentiment she echoed on Monday.

Those negotiations ultimately kept Boxer and her Democratic colleagues from traveling to this week's summit in Copenhagen, they announced this weekend. Nevertheless, Boxer said she supported those who traveled in her place, noting she would have repeated Monday's remarks had she joined the delegation.