Sen. Whitehouse likened their actions to those of the tobacco companies that conspired to manufacture doubt about the link between smoking and disease when they were all too aware of it. In 2006, a federal district court ruled that the tobacco industry's deceptive campaign to maximize its profits by hoodwinking the public amounted to a racketeering enterprise.
Last year, the EPA signaled that it will announce a stricter ground-level ozone standard this fall. South Louisiana and other warm, sunny places tend to be high in "bad" ozone. After a struggle, Baton Rouge and neighboring parishes with refineries and petrochemical plants have managed to comply with EPA's current ozone standard.
If the U.S. team negotiating an international climate treaty is looking for guidance, it needn't look far. Over the years, scores of organizations ranging from oil companies to green groups and think tanks have offered their ideas on the principles that should guide an international climate agreement.