Environmental Defense Deplores Backtracking On Global Warming

On March 14th, Environmental Defense sharply criticized a statement made by

President Bush reversing his earlier commitment, made during the presidential

campaign, to curb emissions of all key pollutants from electric power plants,

including carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to global warming. The

statement was contained in a letter from the President to Senator Chuck

Hagel (R-Neb). The letter also reiterated the administration’s opposition to

the Kyoto Protocol, which was also stated during the campaign.

“Not only has the administration reneged on a campaign commitment, but in

opposing the Kyoto Protocol and power plant pollution controls, it has

effectively blocked the only two proposed vehicles for fighting global

warming, the key environmental threat of this century, while offering no

alternative path to protect the planet,” said Fred Krupp, executive director of

Environmental Defense.

“By raising the specter of scientific uncertainty, this position effectively rejects

the judgment of the world’s leading climate scientists, confirmed just weeks

ago in the assessment released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change. That report warned that the threat from global warming has grown

and that Earth’s climate, its species, and many of its countries are already

feeling its effects,” said Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, chief scientist of

Environmental Defense.

“We urge the administration to reconsider its position and work with the

bipartisan Congressional coalition developing legislation to control carbon

dioxide from power plants, while playing an active role in negotiations, due to

resume in July, aimed at improving and finalizing the Kyoto Protocol,” said

Joe Goffman, senior attorney at Environmental Defense. “As the world’s last

remaining superpower, and the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases,

the United States has a special obligation to lead on this issue. The

international community and forward thinking elements of the business

community are already taking this problem on, it’s time for the new

administration to face its responsibilities on global warming as well.”

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