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Bush emission reduction proposal
gets rebuke from Lantos

U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo). File photo.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

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, D.C. office.

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.

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 energy resources.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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