Sen. Carper: Bush’s Global Warming Plan is 8 Years Too Late

WASHINGTON — Calling President Bush’s speech today on the need to address global warming “eight years too late,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said the president’s proposal would do little to curb greenhouse gas emissions and urged the president to get behind Senate legislation that sets up a realistic and economically achievable plan to deal with this urgent problem. 

Sen. Carper, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Security, is a vocal advocate for stronger clean air laws and has helped craft global warming legislation, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and John Warner, R-Va., which will be considered by the Senate in June.

In response to the White House announcement, Sen. Carper stressed that then-Governor Bush made a campaign promise in 2000 in Saginaw, Mich., that, as president, he would “require all power plants to meet clean-air standards in order to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, mercury and carbon dioxide in a reasonable period of time.” Since becoming president, however, Bush has repeatedly blocked any legislative effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

Sen. Carper said:

“I’m pleased that President Bush appears to be making another about-face on global warming, moving closer to where he was eight years ago when, as a presidential candidate, he promised to address this important issue. Unfortunately, President Bush has been anything but proactive on global warming, repeatedly blocking congressional and international attempts to deal with this challenge. My fear is that with just eight months to go in this administration, President Bush is eight years too late. The outline Bush announced today, though a significant sea change for the president, still falls short of providing he leadership needed if we’re serious about climate change.

“If the president is serious about doing something to address global warming, he’ll have the opportunity this summer when the Senate takes up bipartisan legislation put forward by Senators Lieberman and Warner that sets up a realistic, economy-wide framework to begin to curb our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

In addition to his work on the Warner-Lieberman proposal, Sen. Carper, last year, reintroduced his Clean Air Planning Act (CAPA), which would drastically cuts toxic emissions from power plants of carbon dioxide, as well as mercury, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide.