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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

President Bush Global Warming Speech

The White House sent us a predelivery copy of excerpts from President Bush's speech on climate change. They also sent a copy of the actual speech delivered in the Rose Garden (see also Fact Sheet). President Bush is looking beyond the end of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 and announced a new national goal to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. President Bush said:

"Some courts are taking laws written more than 30 years ago to primarily address local and regional environmental effects, and applying them to global climate change. The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act were never meant to regulate global climate change. For example, under a Supreme Court decision last year, the Clean Air Act could be applied to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles...Decisions with such far-reaching impact should not be left to unelected regulators and judges. Such decisions should be debated openly and made by the elected representatives of the people they affect."
On technology as the key to addressing climate change:

  • First, the incentive should be carbon-weighted to make lower emission power sources less expensive relative to higher emissions sources, and it should take into account our Nation’s energy security needs.

  • Second, the incentive should be technology-neutral because the government should not be picking winners and losers in this emerging market.

  • Third, the incentive should be long-lasting. It should provide a positive and reliable market signal not only for the investment in a technology, but also for the investments in domestic manufacturing capacity and infrastructure that will help lower costs and scale up availability.
President Bush also challenged Congress to not pass the wrong kind of climate change legislation:
  1. The wrong way is to raise taxes, duplicate mandates, or demand sudden and drastic emissions cuts that have no chance of being realized and every chance of hurting our economy. The right way is to set realistic goals for reducing emissions consistent with advances in technology, while increasing our energy security and ensuring our economy can continue to prosper and grow.

  2. The wrong way is to jeopardize our energy and economic security by abandoning nuclear power and our Nation’s huge reserves of coal. The right way is to promote more emission-free nuclear power and encourage the investments necessary to produce electricity from coal without releasing carbon into the air.

  3. The wrong way is to unilaterally impose regulatory costs that put American businesses at a disadvantage with their competitors abroad which would simply drive American jobs overseas and increase emissions there. The right way is to ensure that all major economies are bound to take action and to work cooperatively with our partners for a fair and effective international climate agreement.

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