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Bush Backs Off Pledge to Regulate Carbon Dioxide from Power Plants

HeadlineMar 14, 2001

Reversing a campaign pledge, President Bush is backing off from saying he will regulate carbon dioxide from power plants as part of a broad strategy to address climate change and other air pollution. The shift has occurred just days before three moderate Republican lawmakers were to introduce legislation that would require limits on such carbon dioxide releases. Reversing a position he had taken during the presidential campaign, Bush said, in a letter yesterday to Senator Chuck Hagel, the Republican of Nebraska, that he takes climate change very seriously but that mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions would lead to higher electricity prices. Bush also cited the “incomplete state of scientific knowledge of the causes of, and solutions to, global climate change and the lack of commercially available technologies for removing and storing carbon dioxide.” The move has angered environmentalists and is at odds with the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 U.N. climate pact accord aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. The accord was signed by the United States but has not been ratified by the Senate, and Bush opposes it. Meanwhile, another scientific study with new evidence of the link between global climate change and the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is scheduled to appear in the scientific journal Nature.

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