Bush emission reduction proposal
gets rebuke from Lantos
U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo). File photo.
By Ari Burack
May 15, 2007
U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo/San Francisco, said this afternoon
that much more is needed to confront global climate change than
President Bush's proposal today for new regulations on gas consumption
and greenhouse gas emissions.
"We need to engage Cabinet-level officials in critical climate
change negotiations to undertake talks that result in binding
commitments to reform from all of the world's polluters, and to
provide the right incentives to encourage the export of clean-energy
technologies that draw upon the innovation of America's private
sector," said Lantos in a statement provided by his Washington,
Bush announced today at the White House that he has ordered the
development, by the end of 2008, of a proposal for regulations
that would cut gas usage and increase fuel efficiency in vehicles
"to improve energy security, strengthen national security,
and protect the environment."
"In urging Congress to adopt his proposed energy measures,
the President is preaching to the choir," Lantos responded.
Lantos referred to the passing of the Clean Energy Act in January
by the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives
as having done more for energy policy than the White House did
in all of last year.
"During his 2006 State of the Union address the President
made a point of observing that America is addicted to foreign
oil, but precious little got done after that to break petroleum's
pernicious grip," Lantos said.
"The Administration needs to commit more to solving global
warming than a lot of hot air," he added.
In response to last month's Supreme Court decision requiring
the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles under
the Clean Air Act, Bush today directed the Environmental Protection
Agency and the departments of Transportation, Energy and Agriculture
to use the plan he outlined in his State of the Union address
"as a starting point."
The "20-in-10" plan aims to cut gasoline usage in the
United States by 20 percent over 10 years by requiring 35 billion
gallons of renewable and other alternative fuels by 2017, as well
as by further improving fuel economy standards for light trucks
and cars, Bush said.
"Together, these reforms would save billions of gallons
of fuel and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions without compromising
jobs or safety," Bush said.In addition to downplaying the
President's emissions reduction proposal, Lantos accused the Bush
administration of consistently undermining international efforts
to address global warming, sending "low level negotiators
to key meetings with instructions to obfuscate and stall,"
Lantos said he plans to introduce new legislation next week aimed
at strengthening international efforts to stop global warming
and to assist emerging markets in developing clean and sustainable
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