March 13, 2001 – President Bush assures friendly senators that the hour of victory is at hand (on Kyoto)

On this day  in 2001 the recently (s)elected PresidentDubya Bush wrote to Senators Hagel, Helms, Craig and Roberts.

My administration takes the issue of global climate change very seriously . . . I oppose the Kyoto Protocol because it exempts 80 percent of the world, including major population centres such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the US economy . . . I support a comprehensive and balanced energy policy that takes into account the importance of improving air quality . . . I intend to work with Congress on a multiple strategy to require plants to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury . . . I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide . . . A recent Department of Energy Report concluded that including caps on carbon dioxide emissions as part of a multiple emissions strategy would lead to even more dramatic shifts from coal to natural gas for electric power generation and significantly higher electricity prices . . . This is important new information that warrants re-evaluation especially at times of rising energy prices and serious energy shortage . . . we must be very careful not to take actions that could harm consumers. This is especially true, given the incomplete state of scientific knowledge of the causes of and solutions to global climate change . . .

All nonsense, as events would prove over the coming years. Bert Bolin (2007; 178) describes it as “a confusing statement and in no way a clear strategy to combat climate change. It rather expresses a wish to avoid criticism from industry and consumers and shows no sign of taking the global climate change seriously.”

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