- The Washington Times - Monday, November 2, 2009

Czech President Vaclav Klaus as well as top U.S. politicians and scientists will debate climate change Wednesday in a daylong conference organized by The Washington Times.

Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat and co-author of the House climate change bill passed earlier this year, will speak along with two of his top critics: Rep. Doc Hastings, Washington Republican, and Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican.

Mr. Klaus has openly questioned whether climate change predictions are as dire as many in the global community have said and has pushed against sweeping changes that would hurt national economies.

The conference at the Willard Hotel in Northwest Washington is part of a new partnership between The Times and East West Communications. Times Managing Editor-Digital Jeffrey H. Birnbaum will serve as conference moderator.

House lawmakers passed a climate bill earlier this year that would establish a carbon-trading system, and senators have recently taken up a similar measure, scheduling this week to craft their version.

Democratic leaders, including President Obama, opened the year saying that climate change would be a top domestic priority, though the health care reform battle largely sidelined debate through the summer.

Senate leaders have renewed a push, however, to pass legislation before global leaders meet for a climate change summit in Copenhagen next month.

Scholars from the Center for American Progress, the Heritage Foundation and other think tanks will debate questions of economic and job impacts, as will advocates representing major environmental groups and energy industry leaders.

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