Bush global warming plan will allow more pollution

President Bush’s global warming plans will allow more greenhouse gas pollution to occur at a faster rate than if the nation maintained the pollution trends of the past five years, a new study has found.

Analysis by the National Wildlife Federation, of data released by the US Department of Energy (DoE), shows that over the last five years carbon dioxide emissions have gone up by 4.9% despite Bush saying he wanted to, “set America on a path to slow the growth of our greenhouse gas emissions.”

This increase is set to continue to 10% over the next ten years, if current trends continue.

The report says the problem is that the administrations greenhouse goals are stated in terms of emissions intensity – measured as the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per dollar of economic output – and not in terms of actual emissions levels (see related story).

“This ‘intensity’ goal actually hides an increase that is likely to be larger and faster than that experienced in the past five years,” the report says.

“The pollution increases we have seen for the past five years are bad enough for the environment, but the White House’s global warming plan would allow more pollution to occur at an even faster rate,” said Jeremy Symons, climate change and wildlife manager for the National Wildlife Federation.

President Bush’s energy priorities such as promoting more coal fired power plants to increase the dependency on fossil fuels will also accelerate the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The report calls for mandatory policies and clear emission limits to control nations runaway pollution levels rather than ‘intensity’ targets and voluntary agreements.

The National Wildlife Federation released its first edition of the report, Beneath the Hot Air, last July to document the rise in emissions, before President Bush began pursuing voluntary agreements with industry, but has been republished to highlight the problems of current policy.

The report comes in the same week that it was revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withheld key findings of its analysis of Bush’s Clear Skies initiative for power plant emissions.

The Clear Skies initiative is designed to reduce emissions from power plants over the next twenty years, yet does not address carbon dioxide – largely considered one of the most important greenhouse gases.

The EPA found that a separate senate plan to combat air pollution would be more effective in reducing harmful pollutants, if marginally more expensive. Crucially, the senate proposal has a carbon dioxide reduction plan that can be carried out at ‘negligible’ cost to industry.

Environmentalists have described the Clear Skies bill as a dilution of current EPA air pollution requirements and criticised the EPA for not releasing their full results. Links



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