Bingaman on 'Climate VISION'

February 12, 2003
12:00 AM
“Perhaps it’s a good thing that President Bush has finally indicated an interest in having a climate change policy. However, a policy that doesn’t improve on what likely is going to happen anyway isn't much of a strategy. “The president’s voluntary target of an 18 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity over the next decade sounds impressive – until you look at the data. This approach will allow climate-altering pollution to continue climbing as long as it increases more slowly than the economy. The voluntary commitments announced today would meet a goal no more aggressive than business as usual. “Greenhouse gas pollution intensity in the U.S. has been declining since the 1990s, because the part of our economy that is growing the fastest is the service sector, which produces fewer greenhouse gases than the manufacturing sector. So, President Bush’s proposal probably won’t change the trend in greenhouse gas emissions over what is likely to happen anyway. “Furthermore, we’ve been trying a voluntary approach to reducing greenhouse pollution for almost a decade, and greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased 14 percent. Many of the commitments that industry made today are the same, or similar, to what these same companies promised nearly a decade ago. “Recycling is a great way to protect the environment – but recycling policies that haven’t worked, and commitments that haven’t helped, doesn’t protect anything. I urge the Administration to work with Congress to come up with a more climate-friendly approach to addressing global warming.”