WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The leaking of e-mail purporting to undermine climate change theories should be criminally investigated, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Wednesday.
The e-mail messages, written by British scientists at the University of East Anglia, were obtained by hackers and show the director of the university's Climate Research Unit talking about ways to strengthen the proofs for global warming, The Hill newspaper reported.
Critics of climate change point to the e-mail as evidence of deceit in global warming theories.
"You call it 'Climategate'; I call it 'E-mail-theft-gate,'" Boxer, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said during a committee meeting. "The main issue is, 'Are we facing global warming or are we not?' I'm looking at these (messages), that even though they were stolen, are now out in the public."
The committee's top Republican, Sen. James Inhofe, of Oklahoma, has asked that the e-mail be the subject of a committee hearing. The Hill reported Boxer may grant his request but said that criminal investigations would be part of any hearings.