Statement on President Bush's Climate Speech
Philip E. Clapp, deputy managing director of the Pew Environment Group, issued the following statement on President Bush's global warming announcement. President Bush spoke on the eve of the third meeting of his Major Economies initiative in Paris. Mr. Clapp is attending this meeting, which runs Thursday, April 17 to Friday, April 18, 2008.
“The President's proposals show how far the debate has shifted in the U.S. Seven years ago, President Bush questioned how much pollution was really contributing to global warming. Today he acknowledged that a major change in America's energy economy must begin.
“The President is right that electric utilities are the single largest source of U.S. carbon emissions, and they must be brought under control. But simply halting the increase in power plant pollution won't solve the problem all by itself. Congress shouldn't allow utilities and the coal industry to cut a separate deal this year and leave manufacturers and others to pay the price later. Emissions reductions should be spread fairly among all sources of carbon pollution.
“Nothing the President said today can overcome the biggest stumbling block to progress in Paris and in the UN negotiations -- the administration's refusal to commit the U.S. to emissions cuts in line with the efforts of the rest of the industrialized world. Countries have been encouraged by signs of potential Congressional action that would reduce emissions by nearly 20 percent in 2020. The U.S. Supreme Court said last year that laws already on the books can be used to reduce carbon emissions. If Congress fails to act, the next president has all the authority necessary to do so."
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the main Pew Campaign on Global Warming page.