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Washington Watch

Wait, There Is Breaking News from Washington:

Senators to Exxon: Stop the Denial--and Stop Funding Global Warming Doubters.

In a letter to ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, Senators Olymbia Snowe (R-ME) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) ExxonMobil said that the Company should stop funding groups that have spread the idea that global warming is a myth and that try to influence policymakers to adopt that view.

The two senators called on ExxonMobil to "end any further financial assistance" to groups "whose public advocacy has contributed to the small but unfortunately effective climate change denial myth.". The Senators even got cute by asking ExxonMobil to "come clean about its past denial activities."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is reporting that ExxonMobil funded 29 climate change denial groups in 2004 alone. Since 1990, the report said, the company has spent more than $19 million funding groups that promote their views through publications and Web sites that are not peer reviewed by the scientific community.

The senators singled out the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, and the Tech Central Station Web site as beneficiaries of Exxon's efforts to sow doubt within the public about the scientific consensus behind global warming.

"We are convinced that ExxonMobil's long-standing support of a small cadre of global climate change skeptics, and those skeptics' access to and influence on government policymakers, have made it increasingly difficult for the United States to demonstrate the moral clarity it needs across all facets of its diplomacy," the letter said.

"It has failed miserably in confusing, much less convincing, the legitimate scientific community," the senators wrote.

ABC News reports that investment bank Morgan Stanley announced it would invest $3 billion in carbon emission credits and other projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years.

Last month, British airline and train mogul Richard Branson pledged $300 million annually for 10 years for investments in energy sources that do not contribute to global warming.