195 Scientists Opposed Murkowski Amendment

Posted on June 10, 2010


Today the United States Senate voted on the ”Murkowski Amendment” to the Clean Air Act.  This was a Republican sponsored amendment which, if it passed,  would have had the effect of preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from acting on the science, and from acting to protect the health of Americans by taking action against the effects and causes of climate change.

The amendment failed, thankfully.

In case anybody believes the failure of that amendment was a bad thing, here is the response made earlier this year of 195 scientists to that proposal.  The letter not coincidentally also upholds the integrity of climate science.

Protect Science and the Clean Air Act

January 19, 2010

Dear Senators

We—the 195 undersigned endorsers—urge you to oppose an imminent attack on the Clean Air Act (CAA) that would undermine public health and prevent action on global warming.  This attack comes in the form of an amendment by Senator Murkowski to the debt limit bill (H.J.Res. 45) that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from acting on its finding that global warming endangers public health and welfare.  Because the EPA’s finding is based on solid science, this amendment also represents a rejection of that science.

The EPA’s “endangerment finding” is based on an exhaustive review of the massive body of scientific research showing a clear threat from climate change.  The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that global warming will cause water shortages, loss of species, hazards to coasts from sea level rise, and an increase in the severity of extreme weather events.1  The most recent science includes findings that sea level rise may be more pronounced than the IPCC report predicted2 and that oceans will absorb less of our future emissions.3

Recently, 18 American scientific societies sent a letter to the U.S. Senate confirming the consensus view on climate science and calling for action to reduce greenhouse gases “if we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.”  The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and 10 international scientific academies have also released such statements.4  Unfortunately, the Murkowski amendment would force the EPA to ignore these scientific findings and statements.

The CAA is a law with a nearly 40-year track record of protecting public health and the environment and spurring innovation by cutting dangerous pollution.  This effective policy can help address the threat of climate change—but only if the EPA retains its ability to respond to scientific findings.  Instead of standing in the way of climate action, the Senate should move quickly to enact climate and energy legislation that will curb global warming, save consumers money, and create jobs.

In the meantime, we urge you to respect the scientific integrity of the EPA’s endangerment finding by opposing Senator Murkowski’s attack on the Clean Air Act.


[195 Scientists]

1 IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007:  The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR4). S. Solomon et al. eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and NY, USA.  More than 450 lead authors, 800 contributing authors, and an additional 2,500 reviewing experts from more than 130 countries contributed to AR4.

2 Stroeve, J. Marika M. Holland, Walt Meier, Ted Scambos, and Mark Serreze (2007) Arctic sea ice decline: Faster than forecast Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, L09501, Doi: 10.1029/2007gl029703

3 Canadell, J.G., C. Le Quéré, M. R. Raupach, C. B. Field, E. T. Buitenhuis, P. Ciais, T. J. Conway, N. P. Gillett, R. A. Houghton, and G. Marland. 2007.  Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

4 A list of these scientific societies and academies and links to their statements is available at



Endorsers to statement opposing Murkowski Amendment January 19, 2010


David Campbell, Ph.D. Tuscaloosa, AL


James Gessaman, Ph.D. Tucson, AZ   Trevor Hare, M.S. Tucson, AZ   Helene Unland, M.S. Gilbert, AZ


Stephen Manning, Ph.D. Beebe, AR


Richard Ambrose, Ph.D. Los Angeles, CA   Linda Anderson, Ph.D. Felton, CA   Stephen Asztalos, Ph.D. Oakland, CA   Lawrence Badash, Ph.D. Santa Barbara, CA   Holger Brix, Ph.D. Los Angeles, CA   Stephen Brooks, M.S. Carmel, CA   Clifford Bunton, Ph.D. Santa Barbara, CA   Paul Chestnut, Ph.D. Palo Alto, CA   David Cleveland, Ph.D. Santa Barbara, CA   Bernard Cleyet, Ph.D. Salinas, CA   Mary Coker, M.S. Morgan Hill, CA   Alan Cunningham, Ph.D. Carmel Valley, CA   George Ellison, M.D. San Diego, CA   Shannon Fowler, Ph.D. Davis, CA   Jed Fuhrman, Ph.D. Topanga, CA   Daniel Gluesenkamp, Ph.D. San Francisco, CA   Andrew Gunther, Ph.D. Oakland, CA   Karen Holl, Ph.D. Santa Cruz, CA   Jeff Holmquist, Ph.D. Bishop, CA   John Holtzclaw, Ph.D. San Francisco, CA   Joseph Illick, Ph.D. San Francisco, CA   Burton Kallman, Ph.D. Torrance, CA   Richard Kranzdorf, Ph.D. San Luis Obispo, CA   Arielle Levine, Ph.D. Berkeley, CA   William Lidicker, Ph.D. Berkeley, CA   Ics Lindsey, M.S. Santa Cruz, CA   Robert Meese, Ph.D. Davis, CA   Richard Mielbrecht, M.S. Stockton, CA   Susanne Moser, Ph.D. Santa Cruz, CA   Michael Nelson, M.S. candidate Redwood City, CA   Roger Pierno, M.S. Palo Alto, CA   James Provenzano, Ph.D. candidate Los Angeles, CA   Paul Rosenberger, B.S. Manhattan Beach, CA  Dale Sartor, M.B.A. Oakland, CA   Robert Siebert PE, M.S. Orange, CA   David Smernoff, Ph.D. Portola Valley, CA   Raymond Smith, Ph.D. Santa Barbara, CA   Glenn R. Stewart, Ph.D. La Verne, CA   Laszlo J Szijj, Ph.D. Claremont, CA   Mathias van Thiel, Ph.D. Hayward, CA   Ray Weiss, Ph.D. La Jolla, CA   Stephen Weitz, Ph.D. Oakland, CA


Ron Alberty, Ph.D. Boulder, CO   Albert Bartlett, J.D. Boulder, CO   Robert Cifelli, Ph.D. Fort Collins, CO   Eric Hintsa, Ph.D. Boulder, CO   Jose-Luis Jimenez, Ph.D. Boulder, CO   Marni Koopman, Ph.D. Fort Collins, CO   Nan Rosenbloom, Ph.D. Boulder, CO   Patrick Ryan, Ph.D. Thornton, CO   Thomas Schlatter, Ph.D. Boulder, CO   Len Shepard, M.S. Westminster, CO   Jerry Unruh, Ph.D. Manitou Springs, CO   A. Wyckoff, Ph.D. candidate Fort Collins, CO


Robin Chazdon, Ph.D. Storrs, CT   Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri, Ph.D. Storrs Mansfield, CT


James Angelo, M.S. candidate Orlando, FL   Hillary Cherry, M.S. Hobe Sound, FL   Walter R. Courtenay, Jr., Ph.D. Gainesville, FL   Jack Fell, Ph.D. Key Biscayne, FL   Chris Hardy, B.S. Miami, FL   Ross McCluney, Ph.D. Cape Canaveral, FL   John Parker, Ph.D. Miami, FL   Milton Theaman, Ph.D. Sarasota, FL


Shelly Krueger, M.S. candidate Tybee Island, GA   Andrea Lowrance, M.S. Gainesville, GA   Donald McCormick, Ph.D. Stone Mt., GA


William Mokahi Steiner, Ph.D. Hilo, HI


Evan De Lucia, Ph.D. Urbana, IL   Karen Glennemeier, Ph.D. Glenview, IL   Scott Harper, M.S. Arlington Heights, IL   Caroline Herzenberg, Ph.D. Chicago, IL   Martin Jaffe, J.D. Chicago, IL   Edmond Zaborski, Ph.D. Mahomet, IL


Novem Auyeung, Ph.D. candidate West Lafayette, IN   Edward Bachta, M.S. Fishers, IN   Mai Kuha, Ph.D. Muncie, IN   Joseph Pachut, Ph.D. Indianapolis, IN   Eliot Smith, Ph.D. Bloomington, IN


Richard Baker, Ph.D. Atalissa, IA   Margot Tollefson/Conard, Ph.D. Stratford, IA


Eugene Bruce, Ph.D. Lexington, KY


Torbjorn Tornqvist, Ph.D. New Orleans, LA


Frances Perlman, M.A. West Paris, ME


DJ Manalo, Ph.D. Rockville, MD   Judith McGuire, Ph.D. Chevy Chase, MD   Louis Potash, Ph.D. Bethesda, MD   Arthur Tsien, Ph.D. Chevy Chase, MD


William Dale, Ph.D. East Longmeadow, MA   Eric Davidson, Ph.D. East Falmouth, MA   Allison Dunn, Ph.D. Boston, MA   Robert Gamache, Ph.D. Lowell, MA   Timothy Havel, Ph.D. Boston, MA   Charles Kolb, Ph.D. Bedford, MA   Dianne Rocheleau, Ph.D. Worcester, MA   Daniel Scholten, M.S. Carlisle, MA   Elske Smith, Ph.D. Lenox, MA   Frank Streeter, M.B.A. Lancaster, MA   John Terrell, Ph.D. Lincoln, MA   Nicholas White, Ph.D. Manchester, MA   Frank Wilczek, Ph.D. Cambridge, MA   Jeremy Winick, Ph.D. Acton, MA


Peter Albers, Ph.D. Traverse City, MI   Norman Andresen, Ph.D. Ypsilanti, MI   Mick DeGraeve, Ph.D. Traverse City, MI   Ray Frodey, M.S. Fremont, MI   Gerald Gardner, Ph.D. Ann Arbor, MI   John Lorand, Ph.D. Mount Pleasant, MI   Stella Papasavva, Ph.D. Royal Oak, MI


Dragoljub Bilanovic, Ph.D. Bemidji, MN   Jason Dahl, Ph.D. candidate Bemidji, MN   Evan Hazard, Ph.D. Bemidji, MN


James Lazell, Ph.D. Jackson, MS


David Pollack, M.A. Saint Louis, MO


Patrick Eggleston, Ph.D. Keene, NH   Michael Letendre, B.A. Portsmouth, NH


Robert Mason, Ph.D. Lambertville, NJ   Howard Mead, M.S. Cinnaminson, NJ   James Miller, Ph.D. New Brunswick, NJ


Siri Atma Khalsa, M.D. Espanola, NM


Caren Cooper, Ph.D. Ithaca, NY   Kurt Gottfried, Ph.D. Ithaca, NY   Karlene Gunter, Ph.D. Rochester, NY   Joel Huberman, Ph.D. Buffalo, NY   Richard Ostfeld, Ph.D. Tivoli, NY   George Profous, M.S. New Paltz, NY   Susan Riblett, Ph.D. Rochester, NY   C.S. Russell, Ph.D. New York, NY   David Straus, Ph.D. Gardiner, NY   James Wang, Ph.D. New York, NY   Ruth Yanai, Ph.D. Syracuse, NY


Daniel Graham, Ph.D. Chapel Hill, NC   Richard Gray, Ph.D. Boone, NC   Peter Reynolds, Ph.D. Durham, NC   Don Richardson, M.D. Brevard, NC   Brett Taubman, Ph.D. Boone, NC


James Andrews, Ph.D. Youngstown, OH   Steven Federman, Ph.D. Ottawa Hills, OH   Donald Geiger, Ph.D. Dayton, OH   Ben Lindenberger, B.S. Cincinnati, OH   David Modarelli, Ph.D. Akron, OH   Dan Petersen, Ph.D. Cincinnati, OH   Benjamin Segall, Ph.D. Cleveland Heights, OH   Gerald Sgro, Ph.D. Cleveland Hts., OH   Nicholas Sperelakis, Ph.D. Cincinnati, OH


Howard Baer, Ph.D. Norman, OK


Kenneth Bergman, Ph.D. Ashland, OR   Paul Harcombe, Ph.D. Albany, OR   Marilyn Harlin, Ph.D. Portland, OR   James Moore Jr., M.S. Ashland, OR   Paul Torrence, Ph.D. Williams, OR   Pepper Trail, Ph.D. Ashland, OR


John Cooper, Ph.D. Lewisburg, PA   James Kasting, Ph.D. University Park, PA   Tim Pearce, Ph.D. Pittsburgh, PA   Fred Wuertele, M.B.A. Allentown, PA


Rainer Lohmann, Ph.D. Narragansett, RI   Dorothy Read, Ph.D. Kingston, RI


Mark Heald, Ph.D. Pleasant Hill, TN   Dennis Walsh, Ph.D. Murfreesboro, TN


Gerald Fowler, Ph.D. Houston, TX   Thomas La Point, Ph.D. Denton, TX   Troy Ladine, Ph.D. Marshall, TX   John Langan, M.S. San Antonio, TX   Rafael Lopez-Mobilia, Ph.D. San Antonio, TX


Brett Adams, Ph.D. Logan, UT   William Newmark, Ph.D. Salt Lake City, UT   Andrew Schoenberg, Ph.D. Salt Lake City, UT   Jack Sites, Jr., Ph.D. Orem, UT


Alan Betts, Ph.D. Pittsford, VT   Becky Herbig, M.S. S Burlington, VT


Bruce Collette, Ph.D. Casanova, VA   Ken Gigliello, M.S. Centreville, VA   Judith Lang, Ph.D. Ophelia, VA   Christopher Peloso, J.D. Arlington, VA


Robert Briggs, M.A. Pullman, WA   Robert Brown, Ph.D. Seattle, WA   Richard Gammon, Ph.D. Shoreline, WA   Vivian Johnston, B.S. Oakville, WA   Conway Leovy, Ph.D. Seattle, WA   Scott Luchessa, M.S. Seattle, WA   Bob Vocke, Ph.D. Husum, WA


Paula Hunt, M.S. Morgantown, WV   James Kotcon, Ph.D. Morgantown, WV


James Boulter, Ph.D. Strum, WI   Tracy Feldman, Ph.D. Stevens Point, WI   Larry Reiter, B.S. Sobieski, WI   Peter Sigmann, M.D. Sturgeon Bay, WI   Richard Steeves, Ph.D. Madison, WI   John Stewart, Ph.D. Washburn, WI